Skip to main content

Full text of "Memories of my son Sergeant Joyce Kilmer"

See other formats


ONLY   LIMITED   EDITION   PRINTED 

FROM  TYPE  AND  THE  TYPE 

IS  DISTRIBUTED 


MEMORIES 


OF  MY  SON 


SERGEANT  JOYCE  KILMER 


JOYCE  KILMER  (COLUMBIA,  1908)  IN  GRADUATION  GOWN, 
WITH  His  MOTHER 


MEMORIES 

OF  MY  SON 

SERGEANT  JOYCE  KILMER 


BY 
ANNIE  KILBURN  KILMER 


WITH  NUMEROUS  UNPUBLISHED 
POEMS  AND  LETTERS 


FULLY   ILLUSTRATED 


NEW   YORK 

BRENTANO'S 


Copyright,  19W,  by 
ANNIE  KILBURN  KILMER 


All  Rights  lieservzd 


TO  THE  MOTHERS  WHO  MOURN  WITH  A  PROUD  HEART 
FOR   THEIR   SONS   WHO   GAVE   THEIR   LIVES   FOR 

HONOUR'S   SAKE,   THIS   LITTLE    BOOK   is 

DEDICATED     BY     THE     MOTHER     OF 
SERGEANT       JOYCE      KILMER 


437201 


FOREWORD 

I  HAVE  written  these  Memories  with  no  other 
object  than  to  solace  a  sorely  wounded  heart. 
That  they  may  be  of  interest  to  those  who  knew 
and  loved  Joyce,  I  cannot  doubt,  and  to  those  who 
did  not  know  him  intimately,  save  only  through  his 
Books,  these  personal  details  of  his  boyhood  and  his 
life  before  he  became  a  famous  writer,  may  be  of 
value. 

A  portion  of  these  Memories  has  been  published 
in  the  "Queen's  Work"  of  St.  Louis,  and  I  wish  to 
thank  the  Editor  for  permission  to  re-publish  the 
same. 

Acknowledgment  is  also  to  be  made  to  George 
H.  Doran  Company,  for  permission  to  use  certain 
material  supplied  by  me  to  them  for  use  in  their 
volumes — "Joyce  Kilmer — Poems,  Essays  and 
Letters." 

Although  this  is  essentially  a  mother's  book,  I 
would  not  feel  that  full  justice  had  been  done  if 
mention  was  not  made  of  my  husband,  Joyce's 
father.  It  is  with  his  assistance  that  this  book  has 
been  gotten  together,  and  through  his  aid  it  has  been 
arranged  that  the  entire  proceeds  from  the  sale  of 
these  Memories  of  Sergeant  Joyce  Kilmer  will  be  used 
for  the  benefit  of  Joyce's  children. 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS 


FACING 
PAGE 


JOYCE  KILMER,  (COLUMBIA,  1908)  IN  GRADUATION  GOWN,  Frontispiece 

JOYCE  KILMER,  Two  YEARS  OF  AGE      2 

JOYCE  KILMER,  AGED  BETWEEN  FIVE  AND  Six  MONTHS 2 

JOYCE  KILMER,  FIVE  YEARS  OF  AGE      4 

JOYCE  KILMER  AS  A  STUDENT  IN  PREPARATORY  SCHOOL      6 

JOYCE  KILMER,  IN  His  SOPHOMORE  YEAR,  COLUMBIA,  1907       ....  6 

ORIGINAL  COPY  OF  BIRTHDAY  POEM,  1914 18 

VALENTINE — JOYCE  KILMER  TO  His  MOTHER      24 

CHILDISH  VALENTINE  TO  His  MOTHER      32 

REPORT  OF  STANDING  IN  PREPARATORY  SCHOOL      32 

JOYCE  KILMER  IN  THE  CHARACTER  OF  Sidney  Carton       40 

JOYCE  KILMER  AND  His  MOTHER  ON  RETURN  TRIP  FROM  ENGLAND, 

1914       88 

PHOTOGRAPH   OF  HAND-LETTERED   COPY   OF  THE  FAMOUS  POEM, 

"TREES" 96 

JOYCE  KILMER,  B.  A 116 

PRIVATE  JOYCE  KILMER,  JUST  AFTER  His  TRANSFER  TO  THE  165TH 

(69TH)  REGIMENT         122 

MOTHER  OF  SERGEANT  JOYCE  KILMER,  1917 128 

JOYCE  KILMER'S  MOTHER  LOOKING  AT  His  PICTURE       132 

POSTCARD  SENT  FROM  FRANCE        136 

POSTCARD  PHOTOGRAPH  OF  SERGEANT  JOYCE  KILMER 136 

JOYCE  KILMER'S  MOTHER.    TAKEN  FEBRUARY,  1918,  AND  SENT  TO 

HlMINFRANCE            I40 


MEMORIES 


OF  MY  SON 


SERGEANT  JOYCE  KILMER 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Then  I  say:  "Why  do  you  love  mamma?"     And  this  is  his  answer, 
spoken  with  great  deliberation:  "I  will  tell  you,  pocause  I  lofe  to  lofe  you." 

Some  of  the  other  entries  in  the  diary,  written  the  same 
year  and  early  the  following  year,  follow: 

February  19,  1889 — "Whose  'ittle  mug  is  this,  mamma?"  "It  was  your 
little  sister  Ellie's,  darling." 

"My  'ittle  sister  Ellie  gone  up  to  Heving?"     "Yes,  darling." 

"When  she  got  up  to  Heving,  what  she  say  to  Desus,  mamma?" 

I  did  not  answer,  and  he  immediately  said,  in  his  high  bird-like  voice: 
"When  sister  Ellie  went  up  to  Heving  she  say,  'Desus,  do  you  lofe  me, 
Desus?' " 

June  10,  1889 — While  smelling  a  rose  he  asked:  "Cologne  on  this  flower, 
mamma?" 

"No,  darling,  that  is  the  natural  smell  of  the  flower,  God  made  it  to  smell 
sweet  for  you." 

"God's  pofumry  on  it,  mamma?" 

June  5th,  1889 — A  man  by  the  name  of  Snyder  was  working  in  the  yard. 
Joyce  looked  at  him  and  said:  "Mr.  Snyder  sat  down  beside  her,  ha!  ha!" 
in  evident  parody  of  "Little  Miss  Muffit." 

July  10th,  1889 — Part  of  the  ceiling  fell  down,  disclosing  laths  and 
plaster.  When  Joyce  saw  it  he  pointed  to  it  and  said:  "Mamma,  is  that 
Heving?" 

I  said,  "No,  darling,  that's  where  the  ceiling  has  fallen,"  upon  which  he 
rejoined,  "I  thought  you  said  seah  lived  in  the  water!" 

February  19th,  1889— He  was  naughty  and  I  had  to  talk  to  him.  After 
a  while  he  came  to  me  and  said:  "I  so'y  I  so  bad.  I  'fraid  God  won't  lofe 
me." 

His  first  prayer,  offered  when  he  was  two  and  a  half  years  old,  is  "Oh 
God,  bess  papa  and  mamma  and  gaga  (grandma)  and  bubu  Addy  (brother 
Andy)  and  dee  'ittle  Joyce,  for  Desus  sake,  Amen." 

While  I  was  praying  he  said:  "You  pray  to  God?  Now  te'  me  'bout 
God's  son." 

March  Uk,  1890— "Mamma,  what  is  it  to  marry?"  "Oh,  it's  when  two 
people  live  together  like  papa  and  I  do." 

Silence  for  a  few  moments,  then:  "If  I  should  marry  you,  would  I  be  your 
sister-in-law?" 

A  former  colored  servant  came  to  see  me  for  a  donation  for  some  affair. 
After  she  had  received  it  she  still  lingered  in  the  kitchen.  Joyce  was  with 
me,  as  always,  and  pointing  a  tiny  white  forefinger  at  the  woman  he  said: 
"Mamma,  is  that  a  formal  call?"  Even  the  woman  saw  the  humor  of 
that. 

2 


k 


JOYCE  KILMER,  Two  YEARS  OF  AGE 


JOYCE  KILMER,  AGED  BETWEEN  FIVE  AND  Six 
MONTHS 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


He  was  prepared  for  college  at  the  Rutgers  Preparatory 
School  in  New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  the  city  of  his  birth,  entering 
the  school  when  he  was  eight  years  of  age  and  being  graduated 
from  it  in  1904.  ^  Here  he  won  the  Lane  prize  in  public  speak 
ing,  and  was  edifor-in-chief  of  the  Argo,  the  school  paper.  His 
college  freshman  and  sophomore  years  were  spent  in  Rutgers, 
where  he  won  the  first  Sloan  entrance  examination  prize; 
was  associate  editor  of  the  Targum  and  was  a  member  of  the 
Delta  Upsilon  fraternity. 

In  his  junior  year  he  went  to  Columbia  University,  where 
he  was  vice-president  of  the  Philolexian  Society  and  an  asso 
ciate  editor  of  Spectator,  and  where  he  won  the  Philolexian 
speaking  contest  and  received  honorable  mention  in  the 
Spingarn  Belles  Lettres  contest.  In  his  senior  year  at  Co 
lumbia,  he  was  associate  editor  of  the  Jester  and  president 
of  the  Anthon  Club  (Latin),  and  qualified  for  the  finals  of 
the  Curtis  and  the  Philolexian  medal  contest.  He  was  a 
member  of  King's  Crown,  Philolexian  Society,  Civic  Club, 
Anthon  Club,  Churchmen's  Association  and  the  Debating 
Union. 

During  his  junior  and  senior  years  at  Columbia,  I  had  an 
apartment  near  the  University  and  was  with  him  from  Mon 
day  to  Friday,  when  he  would  come  home  for  the  week-ends. 
All  through  his  school  and  college  days  it  was  my  custom  to 
give  him  the  "lucky  tap"  just  before  he  was  to  take  the  ex 
aminations,  or  to  try  for  a  prize,  as  it  always  (so  he  thought) 
made  him  successful.  Even  in  his  later  career,  before  he  was 
to  deliver  a  lecture,  he  would  turn  his  shoulder  to  me  and  I 
would  tap  it  and  say  "Good  luck." 

YlAll  this  time  he  had  been  a  regular  communicant  of  the 
Church  where  he  was  christened.  At  eighteen  he  was  a 
licensed  lay  reader,  and  it  made  me  very  happy  to  hear  him 
read  the  Lessons  from  the  old  Oak  Lectern,  brought  from 
England,  in  Christ  Church  on  Sunday.  It  was  his  intention 
then  to  enter  the  ministry  later. 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


He  went  to  England  with  his  father  and  me  in  1899. 
While  his  father  was  attending  to  business  matters,  Joyce  and 
I  were  happy  in  Derbyshire.  Four  years  later  Joyce  and  I 
went  to  England  alone  for  the  Summer.  At  that  time  I  was 
arranging  for  a  memorial  window  for  Thomas  Kilburn,  my 
English  ancestor,  who  was  Church  Warden  in  St.  Mary's 
Church  at  Wood  Ditton,  New  Market,  Cambridgeshire,  in 
1635,  and  who  came  to  this  country  in  1638.  As  my  father 
was  in  direct  descent  from  Thomas  Kilburn,  the  window  was 
of  great  interest  to  me. 

In  1905,  we  went  again  to  England.  The  Kilburn  window 
in  St.  Mary's  Church  was  dedicated  on  the  thirtieth  of  June 
that  happy  Summer.  Joyce  presented  the  Window  to  the 
Wardens,  as  is  the  English  custom.  I  was  so  proud  when  he 
walked  up  the  aisle  and  said  the  few  necessary  sentences.  It 
was  before  he  sailed  that  year  that  Joyce  told  his  father  that 
it  was  his  intention  to  study  for  the  Episcopal  Ministry,  and 
he  told  me  of  his  decision  on  my  birthday — St.  Dominic's 
Day.  Of  course  it  made  me  very  happy,  though  I  had  never 
urged  him  to  take  up  the  ministry  as  a  life  work,  as  I  realized 
that  from  every  point  of  view  it  must  be  a  Vocation.  How 
ever,  college  days  seemed  to  take  the  matter  from  his  mind, 
and  I  heard  no  more  about  it — because  I  did  not  then,  nor 
do  I  now,  think  sacred  matters  should  be  urged.  Still,  to 
my  astonishment,  he  brought  home  to  me  in  1907,  a  Rosary 
of  Garnets. 

He  was  graduated  from  Columbia  on  May  23rd,  1908, 
and  in  June  of  the  same  year,  he  married  Aline  Murray,  of 
Metuchen,  N.  J.  From  that  time  on,  perhaps  by  reason  of 
the  exactions  of  his  literary  work,  he  seemed  to  lose  all  interest 
in  his  Church.  After  he  had  been  married  about  five  years 
he  became  a  Catholic,  his  wife  entering  this  Church  at  the 
same  time. 

Joyce's  change  of  conviction  never  brought  a  cloud  be 
tween  us,  and  neither  did  his  father  ever  utter  a  word  of  dis- 


JOYCE  KILMER,  FIVE  YEARS  OF  AGE 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


approval.  As  for  me,  I  bless  the  day  when  he  became  a 
Catholic. 

I  was  just  as  close  to  him  through  his  brief  married  life 
as  any  mother  could  be.  I  was  with  him  at  many  of  his 
lectures;  with  him  I  attended  the  various  literary  clubs  of 
which  he  was  a  member,  including  the  receptions  given  by  the 
Authors'  Club,  of  which  he  was  the  youngest  member;  to 
gether  we  went  to  the  Poetry  Society  dinners  and  to  the  meet 
ings  of  the  Dickens  Fellowship,  of  which  he  was  the  president. 
When  possible  we  were  always  together.  His  second  book  of 
Verse  was  dedicated  to  me  in  a  most  lovely  sonnet,  and  many 
of  his  poems  in  "Main  Street"  and  elsewhere  were  inscribed 
with  the  precious  words  which  I  am  never  to  read  again, 
"To  my  Mother." 

It  was  his  invariable  custom  to  bring  me  flowers  to  wear 
for  any  evening  affair  we  attended  together,  and  I  still  have 
the  dry  withered  red  roses  he  brought  me  the  August  before 
he  sailed  for  France.  I  had  been  in  Massachusetts  for  a  few 
weeks  and  had  come  to  New  York  to  attend  a  military  wed 
ding,  where  he  was  to  be  the  best  man.  The  roses,  still  red, 
are  now  among  my  treasures,  together  with  a  leaf  from  the 
wreath  which  Captain  Nichols  placed  at  the  foot  of  the  Cata 
falque  in  St.  Patrick's  Cathedral,  when  the  wonderful  Requiem 
Mass  was  given. 

In  all  his  life  he  never  told  me  a  falsehood.  He  seemed 
always  to  have  a  great  dislike  to  all  pretense  and  to  every 
thing  that  was  not  exactly  what  it  seemed  to  be.  He  had  a 
horror  of  all  forms  of  cruelty.  I  have  often  thought  how  hard 
it  must  have  been,  with  his  fine  supersensitive  nature,  to 
adapt  himself  to  the  dreadful  game  of  war. 

When  he  enlisted,  two  weeks  after  the  United  States 
declared  War,  he  called  me  up  on  the  telephone  and  told  me. 
I  just  said,  "Oh!"  but  like  many  another  mother  I  did  not 
grasp  what  it  might  mean;  I  only  knew  he  had  done  the  only 
thing  that  my  son  could  do,  at  such  a  time.  He  was  already 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


a  member  of  the  Columbia  Officers'  Training  Corps,  and  he 
was  also  very  busy  on  what  was  to  be  his  sixth  and  last  book — 
"Dreams  and  Images,"  an  Anthology  of  Catholic  Verse. 
As  he  was  determined  to  be  in  the  war  he  enlisted  in  the 
Seventh  New  York  Regiment,  and  during  part  of  the  Summer 
of  1917,  he  was  at  the  Regimental  Armory,  going  back  and 
forth  to  his  desk  on  the  New  York  Times,  and  to  his  home  at 
Larchmont. 

I  saw  him  nearly  every  Thursday,  as  I  had  always 
done,  and  had  luncheon  with  him.  I  would  taxi  to  the 
annex  of  the  Times  building  and  would  find  him  waiting  on 
the  pavement  ready  to  tell  the  driver  what  cafe  he  had 
selected. 

At  his  own  request,  he  was  transferred  in  August  to  the 
"Fighting  Sixty-Ninth,"  afterward  the  165th,  stationed  at 
Camp  Mills,  Mineola.  Every  Sunday  his  father  and  I  would 
motor  out  to  see  him.  During  that  Summer  his  eldest  daugh 
ter — Rose  Kilburn,  my  God-daughter  and  namesake — died. 
She  was  a  most  beautiful  child,  but  had  been  an  almost  life 
long  sufferer  from  infantile  paralysis.  Just  after  that  sad 
event  his  last  child — Christopher — was  born. 

On  a  fateful  October  Sunday,  I  saw  him  for  the  last  time, 
though  I  did  not  know  he  was  sailing  so  soon,  for  he  was  not 
allowed  to  tell  us.  His  wife  was  there  that  day  also,  and  as 
he  bid  us  good-bye  I  kissed  him  and  said  to  his  wife,  "Aline, 
you  may  kiss  him  last."  I  felt  it  was  her  right,  although  only 
God  knew  how  hard  it  was  for  me  to  do  it!  The  next  day  I 
knew  he  had  gone! 

I  lived  through  the  months  he  was  in  France,  as  mothers 
did  in  that  horrible  time,  writing  him  nearly  every  day  and 
sending  parcels,  many  of  which  missed  him,  owing  to  the 
congested  state  of  the  mails  and  other  reasons. 

When  the  news  of  his  glorious  death  came  I  was  quite 
alone  in  Litchfield,  Conn.,  where  I  had  gone  for  a  few  days' 
rest  and  change  of  air.  I  cannot  wri^e  of  that  time.  Two 

6 


JOYCE  KILMER  AS  A  STUDENT  IN          JOYCE  KILMER  IN  His  SOPHOMORE 
PREPARATORY  SCHOOL  YEAR,  COLUMBIA,  1907 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


days  afterward  the  blue  star  in  the  Service  pin  he  had  given 
to  me  changed  to  gold.     In  the  words  of  Jean  Ingelow: 

"Oh!  my  heart,  my  heart  was  sad  a-wishing  and  a-waiting, 
For  the  lad  took  up  his  knapsack — he  went,  he  went  his  way, 
And  I  looked  out  of  the  window  as  a  prisoner  through  the  grating 
Looks  and  longs,  and  longs  and  wishes  for  its  opening  day. 

He  had  climbed,  had  climbed  the  mountains — he  would  ne'er  come 
down!" 

It  may  be  of  interest  to  those  who  knew  and  loved  my  son 
to  tell  of  the  incidents  that  were  the  inspirations  of  some  of 
his  lovely  poems. 

We  used  often  to  spend  our  Summers  in  the  Berkshires, 
and  "Dave  Lilly,"  the  fisherman,  was  a  real  character  we  met 
there. 

"The  House  with  Nobody  in  It"  calls  up  memories  of  one 
of  our  many  walks.  Coming  across  an  old  deserted  house  we 
investigated  it  from  cellar  to  attic  and  found  the  latter  filled 
with  rubbish  and  old  letters  which  the  owners  had  not  thought 
worth  taking  away.  A  little  old  flat  japanned  candle  stick 
we  took  home  with  us,  and  it  still  rests  on  a  desk  in  my  "Old 
Fashioned  Room,"  where  many  treasures  are  collected. 
When  Joyce  received  his  sergeant's  commission  he  wrote  that 
perhaps  I  might  like  to  hang  it  in  the  "Old  Fashioned  Room." 
When  it  came  I  had  it  framed,  and  it  hangs  there  now. 

The  last  three  verses  of  "Roofs"  were  inspired  by  the 
sight  of  some  gypsies  breaking  camp,  forced  to  move  away 
on  the  complaint  of  some  pharisaical  person,  while  we  were 
on  one  of  our  long  walks.  Joyce  said,  "It  seems  too  bad  the 
gypsies  should  always  have  to  move  around  so,"  and  we  both 
agreed  that  "some  day"  we  would  buy  a  lot  somewhere  and 
put  up  a  sign 

GYPSIES  INVITED 

to    pitch    their    tents    here 

By  order  of 

The  Owners. 


MEMORIES      OF      MY       SON 


The  lot  was  duly  bought,  but  somehow  the  sign  was  never 
put  up.  Perhaps  we  realized  as  we  grew  up  (for  my  age  was 
always  the  same  as  his)  that  the  gypsies  really  preferred  their 
Nomadic  life. 

But  Oh!  the  wonderful  walks  we  had  together.  Always 
we  would  start  out  on  strange  roads,  for  the  beaten  track  had 
little  attraction  for  us,  and  sometimes  when  we  were  not 
quite  sure  of  our  bearings  and  did  not  want  to  get  hopelessly 
lost,  we  would  lay  a  branch  of  a  tree  with  a  big  spray  of  golden 
rod  to  point  the  homeward  way.  Once,  I  remember,  we 
stopped  at  a  charming  farmhouse,  where  the  ladies  sitting 
under  the  trees  beguiled  us  in  and  fed  us  with  ripe  red  apples, 
after  taking  us  all  over  the  house  to  see  the  New  England 
heirlooms  with  which  it  was  filled. 

On  another  walk  we  had  strayed  far  from  home.  It  was 
hot  and  dusty,  and  we  very  much  wanted  our  dinner.  We 
met  an  old  man  driving  an  empty  farm  wagon,  and  on  the 
spur  of  the  moment  I  said  to  him,  "I  wish  you  were  going  our 
way."  The  old  man  very  deliberately  stopped  his  horse  and 
said,  "Hey?"  I  repeated  my  remark  a  little  louder,  upon 
which  he  climbed  down  out  of  his  wagon  and  putting  his 
horny  hand  up  to  his  ear,  walked  up  to  me  saying,  "You'll 
hev  to  speak  a  little  louder  marm,  I'm  ruther  dull  o'  hearin'." 
I  then  yelled  it  and  he  replied,  "So  do  I,"  and  walked  back  to 
his  wagon,  climbed  in  and  drove  off.  Joyce  by  this  time  was 
some  distance  ahead,  but  he  came  back,  and  with  his  shoulders 
shaking  with  laughter  said,  "Well,  it  serves  you  right  for 
talking  to  people  you  don't  know." 

But  I  always  did,  and  it  seemed  to  usually  come  out  all 
right  when  I  didn't  strike  deaf  ones.  Sometimes  it  stood  me 
in  good  stead.  I  remember  in  1899,  when  Joyce  was  just  a 
little  fellow — not  twelve — we  were  in  Derbyshire,  England. 
It  was  our  custom,  right  after  tea,  to  walk  from  our  lodgings 
at  Newton  Grange,  to  Tissington,  the  nearest  village,  -three 
miles  off,  to  get  our  letters,  which  did  not  come  by  postman 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 


as  they  do  now.  It  would  be  quite  light,  in  the  long  beautiful 
sunsets  of  England,  even  if  we  delayed  our  departure  from 
quaint  little  Tissington  till  after  eight  o'clock.  In  taking 
this  walk  we  were  obliged  to  pass  through  dense  woods  on 
either  side  of  the  high-road  for  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile. 
We  rarely  met  anyone,  but  this  time  in  the  distance,  approach 
ing  us,  was  a  very  dirty  formidable  looking  tramp,  with  a 
heavy  knotted  stick  in  his  hand.  I  was  frightened,  but  I 
didn't  let  Joyce  know  it.  I  tucked  my  gold  watch  out  of 
sight  under  my  red  Jersey  and  swinging  my  partridge  cane, 
which  I  always  carried,  went  on  to  meet  the  tramp.  As  he 
came  up  I  looked  him  full  in  the  eyes  and  said,  "Good  even 
ing!"  Like  a  flash,  off  came  his  tattered  cap  with  the  response, 
"Good  evening,  my  lady!"  And  the  incident  was  closed. 
Perhaps  if  he  had  known  how  frightened  I  was  he  might  not 
have  been  so  polite.  I  never  told  Joyce,  but  our  landlady 
was  quite  perturbed  over  the  incident.  > 

In  the  Summer  of  1914,  I  was  in  England,  where  I  had 
spent  from  April  to  October  every  year  since  Joyce's  marriage. 
He  came  over  to  accompany  me  home,  and  it  was  on  the  trip 
over  that  he  wrote  "In  Mid  Ocean,"  which  was  dedicated  to 
me.  Before  sailing  we  were  together  for  ten  days  in  London, 
where  we  had  a  wonderful  time.  England  was  gay,  and  full 
of  patriotic  fervour.  Joyce  met  many  of  his  literary  friends 
in  London — Cecil  Chesterton,  I  remember,  was  one,  but 
there  were  many  others  whose  names  I  do  not  recall. 

We  sailed  for  home  on  the  Atlantic  Transport  Line,  a 
sister  boat  to  the  one  I  had  gone  over  on  in  April.  One  of 
our  table  companions  was  Miss  Helen  Gray  Cone,  whose  chaunt 
of  "Love  for  England"  was  published  that  Winter.  She  read 
it  at  the  Dickens  Dinner  on  the  Seventh  of  February,  1915, 
where  she  was  one  of  the  speakers.  Miss  Cone  wrote  one  of 
the  most  beautiful  poetical  tributes  to  Joyce's  memory  that 
I  have  seen,  containing  an  allusion  to  "Main  Street." 

In   1915,   I   again  visited  England.     That   Summer  the 


MEMORIES       OF      MY       SON 


Lusitania  went  down,  and  Joyce  wrote  "The  White  Ships  and 
the  Red,"  a  splendid  poem  which  has  gone  nearly  around  the 
world.  One  of  the  editors  of  the  New  York  Times,  with  which 
Joyce  was  connected,  in  speaking  of  it  at  the  Memorial 
Service  given  by  the  Dickens  Fellowship,  said  that  it  was  an 
assignment,  and  that  Joyce  had  received  Eighty  Dollars  for  it. 
But  money  had  little  to  do  with  the  spirit  which  inspired  it. 

In  letters  from  the  Front,  he  mentioned  one  of  his  short 
poems  called  "Pennies."  That  poem  was  inspired  by  a  baby 
trait,  transmitted  to  his  eldest  son,  that  of  throwing  a  coin 
down  on  the  floor,  and  then  hunting  till  he  found  it,  to  his 
great  joy. 

And  now  he  is  gone,  and  I  have  only  memories  to  live  on  I 
But  such  memories!  Never  was  a  mother  better  loved  than 
I,  and  never  a  mother  who  was  a  better  comrade.  I  speak  in 
all  humility,  but  I  know  that  our  congenial  tastes  made  us 
entirely  happy  when  together.  I  have  every  letter,  save  one, 
he  ever  wrote  to  me,  and  my  sleeping  room  is  full  of  his  pic 
tures  from  six  months  to  thirty  years. 

I  have  been  privileged  to  attend  some  of  the  memorial 
services  given  in  his  honor.  The  Memorial  Mass  in  St. 
Patrick's  Cathedral  will  always  remain  with  me  as  a  beatific 
vision.  It  seemed  as  though  the  great  Catholic  Church  opened 
Her  arms  wide  and  said:  "All  this  pomp  and  splendour  I 
gladly  give  to  dear  Joyce  Kilmer,  who  found  his  greatest  com 
fort  in  his  brief  life  with  Me." 

The  Poetry  Society,  the  Dickens  Fellowship  and  Columbia 
University  all  have  held  memorial  meetings  in  his  honour, 
but  the  Requiem  Mass  came  first,  and  will  always  be  the  first 
in  my  recollections. 

The  other  day  I  attended  the  first  reception  of  the  season, 
given  by  the  Authors'  Club,  where  he  had  been  the  youngest 
member.^  And  as  I  sat  at  my  table  pouring  tea  I  fronted  the 
service  flag  of  the  club  with  its  one  gold  star — my  son! 

Several  memorials  have  been  made  to  him ;  one  a  furnished 

10 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 


private  room  in  St.   Peter's    (Catholic)    Hospital,    in    New 
Brunswick,  N.  J.     A  plate  on  the  door  of  the  room  bears  this 

inscription : 

Pro  Deo  et  Patria 

In  Memoriam 

Sergeant  Joyce  Kilmer 

Killed  in  Action 

30th  July,  1918 

in  France 
Given  by  his  Mother. 

Two  beds  (in  perpetuo)  have  been  given  to  the  Crippled 
Children's  Home  in  New  York  City.  One  of  the  beds  was 
designated  for  him,  the  other  for  his  child,  Rose  Kilburn 
Kilmer,  who  was  a  victim  of  infantile  paralysis. 

A  painted  photograph  of  Joyce  in  uniform — taken  just 
before  he  sailed  by  Aime  Dupont — together  with  one  of  his 
poems  in  manuscript  have  been  placed  in  the  Authors'  Club, 
while  a  large  framed  photograph  has  been  given  to  the  Dickens 
Fellowship,  and  to  the  Delta  Upsilon  Fraternity  of  Columbia 
University. 

One  of  Joyce's  poems  "Trees"  has  been  more  quoted  than 
almost  any  other. 

The  Bird  and  Tree  Club  of  New  York  City  has  a  card  with 
the  coloured  figure  of  a  little  French  girl  standing  under  a 
quince  tree.  On  a  grey  stone  are  the  words  of  "Trees," 
with  "Joyce  Kilmer,  30th  July,"  and  above  it  the  words,  "I 
am  planting  a  tree  in  France  for  you,"  with  a  space  for  a 
donor's  name.  The  proceeds  of  the  sale  of  these  cards  go  to 
plant  fruit  trees  in  devastated  France,  and  many  thousands 
of  dollars  have  been  raised  for  that  purpose. 

I  have  set  "Trees"  to  music.  It  may  be  of  interest  to  say 
that  I  have  also  composed  the  music  to  a  number  of  Joyce's 
shorter  poems — "Lullaby  to  a  Baby  Fairy,"  "Song  of  Terre 
d'Amour,"  "Gifts  of  Shee,"  "The  Valentine"  (which  he 
wrote  for  me  the  Summer  of  1914),  and  the  "Yellow  Gown," 

11 


MEMORIES      OF       MY       SON 


all  published  in  London.  The  words  of  the  last  we  wrote 
together,  as  I  had  composed  the  tune  originally  for  "Stars," 
a  poem  in  one  of  his  books  of  Verse,  but  he  thought  it  too  lively, 
so  "The  Yellow  Gown"  was  evolved.  It  has  been  sung  in 
public  a  good  deal,  and  has  met  with  some  success. 

I  hope  no  one  reading  these  imperfect  recollections  will 
think  that  I  mention  these  songs  for  my  own  aggrandizement — 
which  is  farthest  from  my  thoughts.  I  simply  refer  to  them 
to  show  how  close  was  the  bond  between  us,  and  how  I  cannot 
be  sad  or  despondent  all  the  time  when  I  have  such  a  store 
of  rich  memories  to  fill  my  lonely  aching  heart. 

At  one  of  the  many  memorial  meetings  given  in  his  honour 
a  clever  Scotch  actor — a  Mr.  Herron — recited  a  poem  de 
scribing  a  Pacifist  and  a  Mother  who  had  lost  her  son  in  the 
war.  I  cannot  recall  the  exact  words,  but  in  the  last  stanza 
the  Pacifist  says:  "But  he  did  not  come  back!"  And  the 
Mother  says:  "No,  but  Thank  God  he  went!" 

My  son  was  awarded  the  posthumous  honour  of  the  Cita 
tion  of  Valour  and  the  Croix  de  Guerre  by  the  French  Republic, 
both  of  which  have  been  sent  to  his  widow.  But  with  the 
warm  generosity  which  one  might  expect  from  that  most 
chivalrous  Country,  and  as  an  especial  favour,  a  second  Croix 
de  Guerre  has  been  sent  to  me,  through  my  friend  Major 
(Count)  de  Maleche  of  the  French  Embassy.  I  am  most 
proud  to  wear  it  with  my  French  flag  and  my  service  pin, 
whose  blue  star  miraculously  turned  to  gold  two  days  after 
I  received  the  news  of  my  son's  glorious  death. 

I  do  not  claim  to  be  like  the  Spartan  mother,  who  told  her 
sons  when  going  to  battle  to  return  to  her  bearing  their  shields 
or  upon  them,  but  I  do  claim  to  be  the  very  proudest  mother  in 
all  the  world  because  Sergeant  Joyce  Kilmer  was  and  is  my  son. 


12 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


MEMORIES  IN  VERSE 

The  following  are  given,  not  for  their  worth  as  Poems,  but 
rather  to  show  the  throbbing  of  a  mother's  heart.  The 
Verses  entitled  "The  War  Mother"  was  very  favorably  com 
mented  upon  by  Joyce  in  his  letter  of  May  15,  1918  (printed 
elsewhere  in  this  volume). 


THE  WAR  MOTHER 
Written  in  April  1918 

The  days  are  heavy,  and  the  nights  are  long: 
My  boy,  now  grown  to  be  a  man,  is  gone! 
I  dream  of  him,  a  little  lad  once  more — 
And  dreaming,  wait  for  him  beside  the  door. 
I  see  him  coming,  clasp  him  in  my  arms ; 
Then  wake — to  feel  the  woe  of  War's  alarms. 

Refore  his  lips  could  utter  words  to  me, 
His  eyes,  so  full  of  baby  mystery, 
Would  look  into  my  own,  intent  and  sweet, 
And  I  would  hold  him  close,  his  love  to  greet. 

On  that  last  day  before  he  sailed  for  France, 
The  same  look  in  his  eyes  was  like  a  Lance 
Through  my  poor  mother-heart,  For  well  I  knew 
Not  au  revoir  was  meant,  but  sad  adieu. 

Dear  Mother  Mary,  look  with  pity  down 
On  these  Thy  daughters  sad,  who  wear  the  crown 
Of  Martyrdom  for  pangs  they  will  not  own ; 
And  force  their  lips  to  smile  that  hide  a  moan. 
13 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


THE  SERVICE  FLAG 

My  Service  Flag,  with  bright  red  rim  and  tiny  star  of  blue, 
Was  given  me  by  my  dearest  one,  before  he  said  adieu. 
And  as  each  day  I  pinned  it  o'er  my  yearning  Mother's  heart, 
I  prayed  that  he  might  never  know,  how  hard  it  was  to  part. 

And  every  day  I  wrote  to  him,  gay  letters  full  of  cheer, 
Telling  him  how  I'd  learned  to  knit,  and  that  he  must  not 

fear — 

That  I  was  sad  and  lonely,  for  I  sang  his  songs  each  day, 
And  lived  the  life  I  used  to  live,  though  he  was  far  away. 

The  dreary  Winter  days  came  on,  and  still  my  heart  was 

strong — 
And  though  I  missed  him,  Oh!  so  much!  and  could  not  help 

but  long 

To  see  his  dear  brown  eyes  again,  and  hear  him  speak  to  me, 
I  knew  in  God's  own  time,  at  last,  we  would  united  be. 

When  Summer  came,  and  all  the  land  was  full  of  warmth  and 

bloom, 

The  dreadful  news  was  given  me,  Alas!  that  day  of  doom! 
"Sergt.  Joyce  Kilmer,  Killed  in  Action."     Could  the  news  be 

true? 
"Yes,"  my  mother  heart  made  answer,  "hope  and  joy  are  dead 

to  you." 

But  my  Service  flag  I'll  wear  while  my  weary  life  shall  last- 
On  a  bow  of  sable  ribbon  then  I  pinned  it  sure  and  fast, 
When  my  sad  eyes  looking  downward,  on  the  flag  so  dear  to  me, 
I  beheld  a  star  of  gold  where  the  blue  one  used  to  be. 

So  I  wear  my  Service  flag,  with  red  rim  and  golden  Star, 
And  I  think  perhaps  my  Darling  was  allowed  to  place  it  there; 
God  is  good,  and  knows  how  sorely  Mothers'  hearts  must 

always  ache, 
And  my  Service  flag  still  comforts,  though  my  sad  heart  will 

not  break. 

14 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


TO  MY  BOY  WHO  LIES  IN  FRANCE 

Are  you  lonely,  Dear,  beneath  the  shining  Lilies? 
Do  you  miss  the  tramp  of  marching  feet  all  day? 
When  the  69th  had  left  you  for  the  Home-land, 
With  their  bright  young  faces  resolute  and  gay — 

Did  you  think  "My  mother,  longing  for  my  presence, 
Cannot  bear  to  see  my  Comrades  marching  by — 
Through  the  streets  where  she  and  I  had  often  lingered, 
In  Manhattan,  underneath  its  bright  blue  sky. 

"Ah!  My  mother's  heart  was  always  beating  for  me, 
And  she  never  cared  for  aught  when  I  was  near — 
Now  the  stormy,  stern  Atlantic  rolls  between  us — 
But  her  soul  is  with  the  Poppies  over  here." 

Oh!  My  darling,  rest  in  quiet  'neath  the  Lilies, 
God  is  good,  and  gives  me  courage  for  your  sake! 
For  the  mother  of  a  Hero  should  not  falter, 
And  the  bitter  cup  He  gives  me,  I  will  take. 


15 


MEMORIES       OF      MY      SON 


BIRTHDAY,  AND  OTHER  POEMS 

For  a  number  of  years  my  son  always  wrote  me  a  poem  for 
my  birthday.  In  1915  I  teased  him  about  the  one  written 
for  that  year,  saying  it  sounded  as  if  he  had  written  it  on  his 
cuff  in  the  train  on  his  way  to  his  office  in  the  New  York 
Times,  so  he  wrote  me  another  one  for  that  year.  The  last 
one,  written  while  he  was  at  the  7th  Regiment  Armory,  I  was 
unfortunate  enough  to  lose. 

The  poem  "To  my  Mother,"  was  a  dedicatory  one  in  his 
second  book  of  verse— "Trees"  and  "Other  Poems."  "Folly" 
(for  A.  K.  K.)  in  the  same  book,  was  written  for  me  while 
I  was  in  England,  and  shows  the  tender  playfulness  with 
which  he  always  regarded  me. 

The  Summer  of  1914  I  was,  as  usual,  in  England,  and 
though  I  was  in  no  difficulties  or  fear  of  my  return  voyage, 
being  in  the  English  countryside,  I  was,  of  course,  delighted 
that  Mr.  Kilmer  proposed  Joyce  should  come  over  for  me. 
On  the  voyage  over  he  wrote  the  poem  "Mid-Ocean  in  War 
Time,"  "For  my  Mother."  This  poem  and  "The  New  School" 
— "For  my  Mother,"  were  both  published  in  his  third  book 
of  verse  "Main  Street  and  Other  Poems." 


16 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


TO  A.  K.  K. 

August  the  fourth 
Nineteen  Hundred  and  Eleven. 


Now  the  English  larks  are  singing, 

And  the  English  meadows  flinging 

Scarlet  flags  of  blazing  poppies  to  the  fragrant  summer  air, 

And  from  every  tower  and  steeple 

All  the  wondering  English  people 

Hear  a  chime  of  fairy  music,  though  no  bell-ringers  are  there. 

What  has  caused  this  jubilation? 

Days  ago  the  coronation 

Went  with  jewelled  pomp  and  splendour  to  the  country  of  the 

past. 

Is  the  land  some  Saint's  day  hailing? 
Or  has  some  tall  ship  gone  sailing 
Through  the  hostile  fleet  to  triumph,  with  the  Union  at  her 

mast? 

Nay,  it  is  no  war-like  glory, 
Nor  pale  saint,  of  ancient  story, 

That  has  made  the  island  blossom  into  beauty  rare  and  new. 
We  in  this  sea-severed  nation, 
Share  with  England  our  elation, 

As  we  keep  this  feast,  your  birthday,  and  are  glad  with  love 
for  you! 


17 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


"WHITE  HORSE"  OF  KILBURN 
To  A.  K.  K.  on  her  Birthday,  1912 

Last  night  the  beat  of  hoofs  was  heard  upon  the  shaded  street, 
It  broke  the  silent  brooding  of  the  peaceful  country-side ; 

I  looked  and  saw  a  horse  that  stamped  its  terrible  white  feet, 
A  giant  horse,  as  white  as  flame,  long  maned  and  starry  eyed. 

"Who  is  this  monstrous  visitant?"  said  I,  "Bucephalus? 

Or  Rosinante,  looking  for  another  crazy  knight? 
Or  (not  to  be  conceited)  may  it  not  be  Pegasus? 

This  mighty  horse,  this  glowing  horse,  so  beautiful  and 
white." 

He  proudly  tossed  his  noble  head,  and  neighed  "Across  the 

foam 
My  stable  lies,  with  clouds  for  roof,  and  mountainous  green 

walls; 

I  come  to  take  your  message  unto  Her,  who  near  my  home 
Will  hold  her  birthday  feast  before  another  evening  falls." 

"Go  back,  0  Horse,"  I  said,  "and  seek  your  pleasant  dwelling- 
place, 

And  here's  a  gift  for  you  to  take,  I  trust  it  to  your  care; 
Support  this  heavy  load  of  love  until  you  see  her  face, 

Then  humbly  kneel  before  her  feet  and  lay  my  homage 
there." 


18 


ORIGINAL  COPY  OF  BIRTHDAY  POEM,  1914 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


FOR  A  BIRTHDAY 
To  A.  K.  K.,  1913 

England,  England,  put  your  veil  of  mist  away! 

Dress  in  green  with  poppies  in  your  hair. 
England,  England,  let  your  birds  sing  holiday. 

Let  your  lanes  be  jubilant  and  fair. 
She  is  made  of  singing,  therefore  hail  her  with  a  song, 

Strew  her  path  with  loveliness  and  crown  her  with  delight 
Golden  hours  of  joy  and  beauty — these  to  her  belong, 

Everything  that  lives  today  must  own  her  gentle  might. 
England,  England,  now  the  jocund  feast  is  here 

Now  is  time  for  frolicing  and  mirth. 
England,  England,  now  another  turning  year, 

Brings  the  day  that  celebrates  her  birth! 


To  My  Mother  on  Her  Birthday,  1914 
With  a  Book  of  Poems 

Gentlest  of  critics,  does  your  memory  hold 

(I  know  it  does)  a  record  of  the  days 

When  I,  a  schoolboy,  earned  your  generous  praise 
For  halting  verse  and  stories  crudely  told? 
Over  those  boyish  scrawls  the  years  have  rolled, 

They  might  not  bear  the  world's  unfriendly  gaze, 

But  still  your  smile  shines  down  familiar  ways, 
Touches  my  words  and  turns  their  dross  to  gold. 

Dearer  to-day  than  in  that  happy  time, 

Comes  your  high  praise  to  make  me  proud  and  strong. 
In  my  poor  notes  you  hear  Love's  splendid  chime 

So  unto  you  does  this,  my  work  belong. 
Take,  then,  this  little  book  of  fragile  rhyme ; 

Your  heart  will  change  it  to  authentic  song. 
19 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


To  An  Adventurous  Infant 
On  Her  Birthday,  August  1915 

"England,"  she  said,  "is  surely  England  yet; 

Therefore  it  is  the  place  where  I  should  be. 

In  spite  of  war,  I  know  that  tea  is  tea, 
A  vinaigrette  is  still  a  vinaigrette." 

"Why  should  I  worry  over  Wilhelm's  threat?/' 
And  thereupon  she  said  goodbye  to  me, 
And  gaily  sailed  across  the  dangerous  sea, 

To  where,  among  the  Zeppelins,  tea  was  set. 

What  if  the  sea  foam  mountainously  high 

With  waves  that  had  in  Hell  their  fiery  birth? 

What  if  black  peril  hover  in  the  sky, 

And  bursting  shell  wound  deep  the  trembling  earth? 
All  evil  things  must  harmlessly  pass  by 
He  who  doth  bear  the  talisman  of  Mirth. 


To  My  Mother,  October,  1915* 

There  fell  a  flood  of  devastating  flame 

On  half  the  world,  and  all  its  joy  was  dead. 
The  sky  was  black,  the  troubled  sea  was  red, 

And  from  all  mouths  a  lamentation  came. 

But  you,  in  calm  and  hurricane  the  same, 

Went  with  gay  lips,  brave  heart  and  unbowed  head. 

What  was  the  charm,  from  which  all  danger  fled? 

What  did  you  say,  what  cabalistic  name? 

It  was  my  love  that  sent  its  quickening  breath 
On  all  the  waves  that  bore  your  ship  along. 

My  love  held  out,  against  the  flying  death, 

That  clove  the  sea,  a  shield  than  steel  more  strong, 

Bringing  you  back,  where  no  war  harrieth, 
Stars  in  your  eyes,  and  in  your  heart  a  song. 


*Note  this  poem  was  written  as  a  second  birthday  poem  for  1915,  because  I  had  criticized 
the  first  birthday  poem. 

20 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


To  A.  K.  K. 

August  Fourth,  Nineteen  Sixteen 

The  Berkshire  Hills  are  gay 
With  a  gladder  tint  to-day, 

And  Mount  Graylock  rears  his  mighty  head  in  pride. 
For  the  lady  that  they  knew 
Long  ago,  to  them  is  true, 

And  has  come  within  their  shadow  to  reside. 

And  across  the  troubled  sea, 
Yorkshire  hill  and  Cambridge  lea, 

Send  their  love  to  you  by  every  wind  that  blows. 
And  a  greater  love  than  these 
Hurries  northward  on  the  breeze 

From  the  little  hills  they  call  the  Ramapos. 


21 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


VALENTINES 

It  was  my  son's  custom  always  to  remember  St.  Valentine's 
Day  by  either  a  picture  of  a  heart  drawn  and  colored  by  his 
childish  ringers,  or  some  little  verse.  These  I  still  treasure  1 
In  later  years  he  sent  me  many  beautiful  Valentine  poems, 
one  of  which  I  set  to  music  and  had  published  in  London. 

The  last  Valentine  I  was  never  to  receive,  though  he  sent 
me  a  cable  in  February,  1918,  saying,  "Your  Valentine  will 
be  late,  but  you'll  get  it!"  Later  he  wrote  he  was  sending  it 
the  next  day,  but  it  never  reached  me.  So  many  letters  were 
lost  in  that  most  trying  time! 

VALENTINE 

(date  unknown) 

Red  is  the  rose 

you  love  the  best. 
Red  are  the  rubies 

in  which  you're  drest. 
Red  is  the  richest 

mellowest  wine 
And  red  is  my  heart — 

your  Valentine. 


TO  YOU,  1908 

Devotion,  never  ending 
And  courage,  ever  mending 
These  two,  together  blending 
Belong  always  to  you. 
I  give  you  my  devotion 
In  calm  or  in  commotion, 
As  deep  as  is  the  ocean 
And  as  the  stars  are,  true. 

22 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1912 

She  has  dainty  silken  gowns, 

Purples,  scarlets,  blues  and  browns 

She  has  flashing  jeweled  circlets  to  adorn  her  pretty  hair. 

She  has  ribbons,  scarves  and  rings, 

Vinaigrette  and  other  things, 

And  to  find  a  new  gift  for  her  drives  a  person  to  despair. 

On  Saint  Valentine  his  day 

I  have  made  my  eager  way, 

Through  the  rich   and   splendid   counters   of  Dan   Cupid's 

famous  mart, 

There  was  no  gift  I  could  buy 
So  I  guess  I'll  have  to  try 
To  content  her  with  a  simple  thing — it's  nothing  but  my  heart. 


VALENTINE— 1913 

I  will  send  my  heart  to  England,  and  will  make  it  learn  to  act 

Like  a  vacant  minded  vicar,  or  a  curate  full  of  tea. 

I  will  make  my  heart  talk  Cambridgese,  or  Yorkshirish,  in  fact, 

I  will  make  it  be  as  British  as  a  human  heart  can  be. 

I  will  dress  my  heart  in  roses,  roses  red  and  ever  gay, 

I  will  steep  my  heart  in  scarletest  of  wine. 

I  will  teach  my  heart  to  bow,  and  smile,  and  sing,  and  dance 

and  play — 
Just  to  make  you  take  it  for  a  Valentine! 


23 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


VALENTINE  TO  MY  MOTHER,  1914 

The  English  meadows  call  her,  and  the  streets  of  London  Town, 
And  the  pleasant  little  villages  under  the  Yorkshire  hills. 

She  can  see  the  roads,  like  ribbons  white,  that  stretch  across 
the  down, 

And  the  great  slow  turning  sails  of  sleepy  mills. 

She  longs  for  stately  mansions,  in  whose  eaves  the  pigeons  coo, 
And  she  longs  for  yellow  corn-fields,  where  the  scarlet 
poppies  shine, 

She  loves  the  folk  of  England,  and,  of  course,  they  love  her  too 
But  she  lingers  in  America  to  be  my  Valentine. 

(Set  to  music  by  A.  K.  K.  and  published  in  London) 


VALENTINE,  1915 
TO  MY  MOTHER  SINGING 

Out  of  the  golden  valleys  of  old  years, 
You  have  recalled  so  many  a  lovely  thing. 

Forgotten  splendours  glimmer  when  you  sing, 

With  their  long  vanished  light  of  mirth  and  tears. 

Gay  lovers  flout  their  love's  delicious  fears. 

The  proud  swords  clash  for  Charles,  the  rightful  King, 
A  woman  weeps,  and  turns  her  "Silver  Ring." 

The  "Men  of  Harlech"  charge  with  level  spears. 

Yet  I,  crowned  with  my  crown  of  vanity, 

Have  been  more  happy  when  you  sang  and  played 

The  songs  wherein  your  art  had  succoured  me. 
As  starry  note  on  starry  note  was  laid, 

Then  my  chained  rhymes,  by  your  designs  set  free, 
Flew  heavenward  on  the  radiant  wings  you  made. 

24 


VALENTINE — JOYCE  KILMER  TO  His  MOTHER.     DECORATED  WITH 
A  RED  HEART  AND  AN  ARROW 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


VALENTINE  FOR  MY  MOTHER,  1917 

If  some  day  as  you  idly  turn  the  pages, 

Whereon  my  verses  are, 
You  find  a  flower  where  angry  winter  rages, 

On  the  black  earth  a  star; 
If  in  dead  words  you  come  on  something  living, 

Some  fair  and  vibrant  line — 
It  is  the  message  that  my  heart  is  giving, 

It  is  your  Valentine. 


25 


MEMORIES   OF   MY   SON 


SONGS 


LULLABY  TO  A  BABY  FAIRY 

Poem  by  Joyce  Kilmer — Set  to  Music  by  Annie  Kilburn- 

Kilmer 


Night  is  over:  in  the  clover  globes  of  crystal  shine. 
Birds  are  calling;  sunlight  falling  on  the  wet  green  vine. 
Little  wings  must  folded  lie;  little  lips  be  still 
While  the  sun  is  in  the  sky  over  Fairy  Hill. 
Sleep,  sleep,  sleep, 

Baby  with  buttercup  hair; 
Golden  rays,  golden  rays 
Into  the  violet  creep. 
Dream,  dream  deep, 

Dream  of  the  night-revels  fair ; 

Daylight  stays;  daylight  stays. 
Sleep,  little  fairy-child,  sleep. 

Rest  in  daytime,  night  is  playtime,  all  good  fairies  know. 
Under  sighing  grasses  lying  off  to  slumber  go. 
Night  will  come  with  stars  agleam,  lilies  in  her  hand, 
Calling  you  from  hills  of  dream  back  to  Fairyland. 
Sleep,  sleep,  sleep, 

Baby  with  buttercup  hair; 
Golden  rays,  golden  rays 
Into  the  violet  creep. 
Dream,  dream  deep, 

Dream  of  the  night-revels  fair; 
Daylight  stays;  daylight  stays. 

Sleep,  little  fairy-child,  sleep. 


26 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


GIFTS  OF  SHEE 

Poem  by  Joyce  Kilmer — Set  to  Music  by  Annie  Kilburn- 

Kilmer 

0  Shee,   who  weave  the  moonlight  into  shimmering  white 
strands, 

0  powerful  and  tender-hearted  Shee! 

While  I  live  at  home  in  plenty  or  am  poor  in  far-off  lands, 

1  Avill  thank  you  for  the  gifts  you  gave  to  me. 

For  the  silver  collar  that  you  wrought  me  by  your  magic  art, 
For  the  scarlet  Seal  that  on  my  mouth  you  set, 

For  the  glorious  White  Flower  that  you  placed  upon  my  heart, 
When  the  sun  and  moon  shall  die  I'll  thank  you  yet. 

For  around  my  throat  the  Silver  Collar  of  soft  arms  I  wear, 
On  my  mouth  sweet  lips  have  fixed  the  Scarlet  Seal, 

On  my  heart  the  perfect  Flower  white  of  deathless  love  I  bear, 
And  these  charms,  your  gifts,  ensure  my  lasting  weal. 

0   Shee,   who  weave  the   moonlight  into  shimmering  white 
strands, 

0  powerful  and  tender-hearted  Shee! 

Though  I  live  at  home  in  plenty  or  am  poor  in  far-off  lands, 

1  will  thank  you  for  the  gifts  you  gave  to  me. 


27 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


THE  SONG  OF  TERRE  D'AMOUR 

Poem  by  Joyce  Kilmer — Music  by  Annie  Kilburn-Kilmer 

Avalon's  a  pleasant  place,  full  of  leaves  and  singing; 
Birds  are  there  and  all  the  air  is  sweet  with  flowers'  breath, 
Guenevere  with  love-lit  face,  knights  with  harness  ringing, 
These  at  last  to  joy  have  passed  beyond  the  Gates  of  Death. 
But  there  is  a  fairer  land,  greener  fields  there  are, 
Whiter  lilies  seek  my  hand  beneath  a  kinder  star. 
Avalon  may  pass  away  'neath  the  ebbing  tide, 
While  through  Terre  d'Amour  I  stray,  by  my  lady's  side. 

On  Olympus  gods  recline,  Jove  who  rules  the  thunder, 
Pallas  wise,  and  she  whose  eyes  like  lakes  of  sapphire  seem, 
Hearty  Bacchus  crowned  with  vine,  lords  of  light  and  wonder- 
Ladies  gay,  these  night  and  day  live  out  a  golden  dream, 
They  are  happy  folk  indeed,  splendid  mirth  they  share, 
None  the  less  I  have  no  need  to  dwell  among  them  there. 
Jewelled  hall  and  silver  street  weary  seem  and  poor, 
While  we  walk  on  joyous  feet  lanes  of  Terre  d'Amour. 

Through  the  swiftly  circling  years,  ignorant  of  sorrow, 
Gay  we  tread  while  overhead  the  sky  with  love  is  bright. 
What  have  we  to  do  with  fear,  who  on  ev'ry  morrow — 
Hand  in  hand  in  love's  own  land  shall  wander  in  delight? 
Terre  d'Amour  about  us  lies,  ever  young  and  green, 
Violets  and  daisies  rise  to  greet  you  as  the  queen. 
Only  yesternight  a  rose  breathed  this  news  to  me, 
"Ev'ry  where  my  lady  goes  Terre  d'Amour  shall  be." 


28 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


THE  YELLOW  GOWN 

Rich  man,  poor  man,  beggar  man,  thief; 
Love  it  is  a  happiness,  love  it  is  a  grief, 
Jeffrey  is  a  grocer,  with  a  pony  and  a  cart, 
Michael  is  a  beggar  man,  and  took  away  my  heart! 

I've  a  yellow  satin  frock  made  in  London  town, 
Silken  buttons  fasten  it,  I  count  them  up  and  down, 
Doctor,  Lawyer,  Merchant,  Chief — so  the  rhyming  ran, 
Three  more  buttons  to  the  end,  and  that  is  Beggar  man! 

Shall  I  break  my  mother's  heart?     Shall  I  break  my  own? 
Every  day  I  sit  and  think,  and  thus  I  make  my  moan, 
Jeffrey's  cart  may  lose  a  wheel,  his  pony  break  a  leg, 
But  with  Michael  by  my  side,  I'd  gladly,  gladly  beg! 

Rich  man,  poor  man,  beggar  man,  thief, 

Love  it  is  a  happiness,  it  never  is  a  grief. 

Jeffrey  with  his  pony  and  his  cart  may  drive  away, 

But  with  Michael's  dear  blue  eyes,  I'm  happy  all  the  day! 


The  tune  for  "Yellow  Gown"  was  composed  for  "Stars" — published  in  "Trees"  and 
"Other  Poems,"  but  Joyce  not  thinking  it  suitable,  the  poem  "The  Yellow  Gown"  was 
written,  Joyce  writing  the  first  two,  and  his  mother  the  concluding  stanzas.  It  was 
published  in  London. 


29 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


DOWN  AMONG  THE  DEAD  MEN 
(Delta  Upsilon  Song) 

Words  by  Alfred  Joyce  Kilmer,  Columbia,  '08 
(Old  English  Air) 

Come,  brothers  all,  your  glasses  fill, 
And  drink  this  health  with  right  good-will; 
For  here's  a  toast  both  brave  and  true, 
Our  own  beloved  Delta  U! 

Chorus 

And  he  that  will  this  health  deny, 
Down  among  the  dead  men, 
Down  among  the  dead  men, 
Down,  down,  down,  down, 
Down  among  the  dead  men, 
Let  him  lie. 


Now,  here's  to  all  throughout  the  land, 
Who  in  our  ranks  fraternal  stand ; 
Whose  aims  are  high,  whose  hearts  beat  true, 
Beneath  the  royal  Gold  and  Blue! 

And  here's  a  health  to  ladies  fair, 
Who  faithfully  our  colours  wear; 
May  every  blessing  wait  upon 
The  girls  of  Delta  Upsilon! 

Now,  brothers,  here  is  one  toast  more, 
The  Delta  U's  of  "Thirty-four," 
Who  firm  in  truth  and  equity 
Established  our  Fraternity. 


30 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


RUTGERS  PREP  SCHOOL 
(Air— Old  Folks  at  Home) 

Down  where  the  Raritan  is  flowing, 

Out  to  the  sea, 

There's  where  my  heart's  devotion's  owing, 

There  is  the  school  for  me. 

Famed  are  her  walls  in  song  and  story, 

Honoured  her  name, 

Her  sons  unite  to  sound  her  glory, 

And  to  uphold  her  fame. 


Chorus 

Rutgers  Prep  School,  Hall  of  Learning, 
Other  schools  above, 
My  heart  for  thee  is  ever  yearning, 
True  to  the  school  I  love. 


Scarlet  and  White  is  waving  o'er  me, 

Floating  on  high, 

Long  has  that  banner  gone  before  me, 

Gleaming  against  the  sky. 

Proudly  its  silken  folds  I  cherish 

Sacredly  pure, 

Ne'er  shall  it's  scarlet  splendour  perish, 

-Always  its  white  endure. — Chorus. 


Joyce  Kilmer,  '04 


31 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


FOOTBALL  SONG 

IP* 

fc  By  Joyce  Kilmer 

(Air — Battle  Hymn  of  the  Republic) 

Come  all  ye  Rutgers  Prep  School  men  and  sing  our  football 

song, 

And  swell  the  mighty  chorus  that  will  help  the  team  along, 
Our  hearts  are  true  to  Rutgers  Prep,  our  voices  they  are  strong, 
For  we  must  win  the  game. 

Chorus 

Whoop'er  up  for  Rutgers  Prep  School, 
Whoop'er  up  for  Rutgers  Prep  School, 
Whoop'er  up  for  Rutgers  Prep  School, 
For  we  must  win  the  game. 


The  Prep  School  fellows  take  the  ball  and  rush  it  down  the  field, 
The  line  before  them  breaks  and  runs,  they  know  that  they 

must  yield, 

And  soon  we'll  score  a  touchdown  and  to  all  'twill  be  revealed 
That  we  must  win  the  game. 

Now  let  us  join  together  in  the  good  old  Prep  School  cheer, 
And  give  it  with  a  hearty  will  and  shout  it  loud  and  clear. 
Let's  make  those  fellows  in  the  field  aware  that  we  are  here, 
For  we  must  win  the  game. 


32 


CHILDISH  VALENTINE  TO  His  MOTHER,  DRAWN  AND  COLOURED  BY 

HAND 


RUTGERS   COLLEGE 

PREPARATORY  *  SCHOOL. 


TAKttf .. 

A8SKST 


WrV*^iVv'x«**. 


Xf 


•fit 


\<    tl. 


77  ., 


-t  Jt, 


% 

/« 

7? 


REPORT  OF  STANDING  IN  PREPARATORY  SCHOOL 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


LETTERS 

A  word  of  explanation  may  be  of  interest  as  to  the  heading 
of  these  letters,  which  I  have  not  cared  to  change.  Even 
before  my  son  outgrew  me  in  stature,  it  was  his  custom  to 
treat  me  with  a  playful  condescension,  as  though  I  were  his 
junior.  He  always  addressed  me  as  "Infant,"  and  every 
letter  began,  "Dear  Brat,"  using  the  word  in  the  old  English 
sense  of  "Child." 

"Oh  Israel!     Oh!  household  of  the  Lord! 
Oh  Abraham's  brats,  Oh  brood  of  blessed  seed!" 

— Gascoigne. 

And  Aldrich  says  in  one  of  his  poems — 

"The  brat  that  tugged  at  his  mother's  gown." 

He  had  a  habit  of  neglecting  to  put  a  date  on  his  letters, 
hence  many  that  have  appeared  are  without  date. 


1906 

MRS.  KILBURN-KILMER — I  will  be  delighted  to  have  you 
attend  service  at  5  in  the  church  today. 

Do  the  responses  loudly,  and  wait  for  me  after  church. 
Hooray ! 

I  remain,  Yours  Scornfully, 

ALF.  J.  KILBURN-KILMER. 
Official  representative  of  the  Kilburn  familee. 


(The  foregoing  was  an  invitation  to  hear  him  read  the  service  in 
Christ  Church  when  he  was  lay  reader. — A.K.K.) 

33 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1906 

ADMIRABLE  BRAT — The  coupe  for  this  evening  has  been 
ordered,  and  will  come  at  twenty  minutes  before  eight.  Six 
large  juicy  white  pinks  for  you,  six  pink  ones  for  the  small 
Murray  child,  and  some  cheap  and  ridiculous  flowers  for 
Sflager  have  been  ordered  and  will  arrive  opportunely. 
Wortman  and  his  female  will  be  here  delightedly  at  half  past 
five,  so  will  I  and  the  despised  Constance. 

Behold  your  Glee  Club  tickets!  Murph  asked  after  your 
health  tearfully.  I  lunched  today  at  Viereck's  luxuriously 
with  Raymond  Ashley,  Delta  U.  Rutgers  '03,  now  an  in 
structor  at  Yale.  He  wants  to  meet  you.  Hooray! 

Stover  will  leave  the  blue  and  gold  ribbon  here  this  after 
noon. 

Wash  your  face,  pull  up  your  socks,  and  put  a  minute  red 
rose  in  your  hair.  You  will  look  cute!  You  must  dance 
tonight!  Hooray! 

I  now  go  to  help  Mrs.  Payson  and  Gies  fix  up  the  Delta 
U.  House  for  the  dance,  and  to  go  thence  to  Metuchen. 

JOYCE  KILMER. 


1907 

DEAR  BRAT — I  am  not  soused,  but  writing  on  my  knee  in 
the  train,  which  renders  my  chirography  slightly  irregular. 

Please  bring  my  two  Physics  note  books.     They  are  in 
the  top  drawer  of  the  reception  room  desk.     I  must  have  them. 

I  will  appear  for  luncheon  Tuesday  at  12.15. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


34 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Lake  View  House,  Gale,  N.  Y.,  June  10,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — We  stayed  over  at  the  Manhattan  last  night, 
and  took  the  8:30  from  the  Grand  Central  this  morning — 
the  Empire  State  Express.  We  arrived  here  at  about  8. 
It  is  a  nice  place,  the  table  is  fine,  and  our  bungalow  is  very 
nice. 

In  the  excitement  of  our  escape,  neither  Aline  nor  I  bade 
goodbye  to  my  father  or  Mr.  Alden.  Please  explain  it  to  my 
father.  And  please  send  me  my  fairy  story — which  is  in 
pencil  on  paper  in  the  dining  room  bookcase,  also  my  tooth 
brush,  and  a  package  of  typewriting  paper  I  left  in  Schussler's, 
and  some  note  paper. 

How  did  the  Socialist  meeting  come  off? 

Be  a  good  child,  and  write  nice  letters.  You  certainly 
looked  cute  last  night.  Aline  sends  love  to  you  and  my  father. 
Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

(This  letter  was  written  the  day  after  his  marriage.  This  and  tha 
other  letters  from  Gale  were  written  while  on  his  wedding  trip. — A.K.K.) 


Lake  View  House,  Gale,  N.  Y.,  June  11,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  not  heard  from  you  yet,  but  I  never 
theless  write.  My  trunk  has  not  come  yet,  so  I  have  no  ad 
dressed  envelopes. 

We  saw  a  deer  last  night,  tonight  a  doe  and  a  fawn.  This 
is  a  delightful  place — altitude  about  2500,  forests  all  around 
the  house,  a  nice  lake.  We  have  a  row  boat  for  our  own 
private  use.  The  bungalow  is  very  nice — one  good-sized 
room,  with  a  wood  stove  and  a  broad  piazza  with  chairs  and 
a  hammock  and  a  desk.  The  food  is  excellent — think  of 
brook  trout  and  wheat  cakes  for  breakfast! 

Well,  be  a  good  child,  and  write  soon. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

35 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Lake  View  House,  Gale,  N.  Y.,  June  12,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — My  trunk  came  today,  so  I  have  stamped 
envelopes  to  write  to  you.  I  have  not  heard  from  you  yet. 
Vile  infant,  I  thought  you  were  going  to  write  daily! 

Mrs.  Corbin  has  sent  me  a  hammock — which  reminds  me! 
For  Heaven's  sake,  send  me  my  typewriter!  I  meant  to 
send  out  swarms  of  manuscript  this  summer,  but  I  cannot  do 
so  without  my  typewriter.  If  with  it  you  will  put  my  tooth 
brush  and  writing  paper  and  a  few  of  my  flannel  shirts,  and 
send  them  to  me  express  collect,  I  will  be  much  obliged. 

I  hope  you  and  my  father  are  well.  I  will  write  to  him 
tomorrow. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


Lake  View  House,  Gale,  N.  Y.,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  received  one  letter  from  you  and  have 
written  daily.  Today  came  a  rather  irate  letter  from  my 
father. 

However,  it  is  a  fine  day.  But  I  wish  I  had  secured  my 
bathing  suit  before  I  left.  Still,  I  manage  to  swim  occasion 
ally,  wearing  Mr.  Gale's  overalls. 

Letters  only  take  about  a  day  to  get  here,  but  they  take 
the  Deuce  of  a  while  to  leave.  One  mail  a  day  at  5 :30  P.  M. 
goes  to  the  station  at  Childwold  from  the  post  office  here, 
which  is  a  little  store  kept  by  Mr.  Gale  for  the  convenience 
of  the  guides,  hunters  and  fishermen.  Then  the  mail  goes 
out  from  Childwold  sometime  next  day. 

Well,  don't  forget  to  send  my  typewriter.  Remember  me 
to  Ida.  With  love  for  you  and  my  father,  I  remain, 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

36 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Gale,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  was  glad  to  get  your  letter  about  the  re 
ception  at  Mrs.  Payson's — it  was  an  amiable  letter  from  an 
amiable  infant.  Also  I  was  glad  to  receive  the  Home  News 
and  Times — the  wedding  certainly  had  a  large  write-up. 

Deer  are  numerous  here;  when  we  were  out  on  the  lake 
last  night  we  saw  four.  Also  we  have  brook  trout  every  day. 

It's  rather  hot,  and  I  think  there  will  be  a  storm.  It's 
always  cool  evenings  here. 

By  the  way,  will  you  please  send  me  a  bathing  suit?  I 
forgot  to  get  one — 36  in.  chest.  Just  trunks  and  a  shirt  will 
do.  Send  me  the  bill  and  I'll  pay  you  by  next  mail.  These 
mosquitoes  bite  vilely  before  a  storm. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


Gale,  N.  Y.,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  hope  you  have  a  large  time  on  board  the 
Mesaba.  Wear  a  good  deal  of  red,  and  raise  Heck  with  all 
the  crew  from  the  skipper  to  the  stokers.  Cut  out  any  other 
skirt  that  dares  to  flare  alongside.  Wash  your  face  daily 
and  you  will  overcome  all  rivals. 

As  I  write  there  is  as  much  moisture  about  me  as  there  will 
be  about  you  when  you  read.  It  is  raining — the  mountain 
we  live  on  is  cloud-covered  and -the  forest  is  dripping  and  the 
lake  is  as  usual  considerably  moist!  Well,  enjoy  yourself, 
Brat! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


37 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Gale,  N.  Y. 

DEAR  BRAT — By  the  time  you  get  this  you  will  be  at  the 
coast  of  England.  I  hope  they  have  sense  enough  to  send 
this  letter  down  to  the  boat.  Aline  wishes  a  rubber  stemmed 
dark  briar  pipe  brought  her  from  England.  She  wishes  the 
wood  to  be  thick  and  flawless,  the  stem  to  be  of  hard  rubber, 
curved.  She  is  too  shy  to  ask  for  it  herself,  so  I  do  so. 

If  in  the  course  of  your  wanderings  you  happen  to  see  Mr. 
Bailey,  you  might  tell  him  about  the  poem  I  wrote  for  him, 
and  tell  him  I'll  send  him  a  copy  sometime. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


Gale,  N.  Y.,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  don't  know  what  part  of  England  you  will 
be  in  when  you  get  this  letter.  Cleveland  is  dead.  Taft 
and  Sherman  are  nominated  for  President  and  Vice-President 
on  the  Republican  ticket,  and  Aline's  bathing  suit  has  come. 

I  ordered  your  present  today.  It  is  to  come  from  London, 
and  is  something  I  selected  long  ago,  but  could  not  then  buy. 
I  think  you  will  like  it;  you  will  get  it  on  your  birthday.  It 
is  very  Red!  and  otherwise  also  amiable. 

I  hear  from  my  father  occasionally.  He  appears  to  be 
existing  excellently.  Constance  is  at  Lake  George.  The 
bathing  suit  you  sent  me  is  fine.  We  go  bathing  a  good  deal, 
as  the  water  is  warm  and  the  bank  gently  sloping,  so  that  you 
go  several  rods  before  the  water  reaches  your  shoulders. 

Well,  I  must  catch  this  mail,  so  I  can't  write  any  more 
now.  Be  a  good  infant. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

38 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Gale,  N.  Y.,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  not  yet  heard  from  you,  but  I  have 
sent  several  letters  which  I  hope  you  received  when  you 
landed.  As  to  your  present — but  I  suppose  you  will  get  this 
letter  before  your  birthday.  The  large  present  is  the  one 
I  wanted  to  give  you,  but  my  father  insisted  on  having  it 
come  from  him  too,  and  paying  for  part  of  it.  I  hope  you 
like  it ;  in  fact,  I  know  you  will. 

Do  you  think  I  will  look  amiable  with  a  beard?  I  am 
horribly  sunburned,  and  my  razor  was  dull,  and  Aline,  to 
escape  being  beaten  with  an  axe  whenever  I  shaved  and  hurt 
myself,  at  length  regretfully  said  I  could  stop  shaving  until 
we  went  to  Morristown.  So  I  have  stopped  shaving.  I  am 
a  dull  brick-red  in  color,  and  since  I  have  ceased  shaving, 
patches  of  dark  green  hair  have  appeared  at  intervals  on  my 
chin.  It  is  a  pleasant  sight.  However,  I  have  gained  in 
weight  and  am  in  fact  becoming  very  fat. 

I  received  a  letter  from  Morristown  today  about  my 
work,  telling  me  the  names  of  the  books  I  was  to  use,  and  so 
forth. 

Remember  me  to  all  my  friends  you  see.  I  will  send  you, 
before  long,  a  copy  of  "Rose  Grey"  to  send  Mr.  Bailey,  or 
to  give  him,  if  you  see  him. 

I  am  at  work  on  a  play  now — a  sort  of  a  morality,  like 
Every  Man,  but  laid  in  modern  times — modelled  on  Maeter 
linck  and  Fiona  Macleod. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


39 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Lake  View  House,  Gale,  N.  Y.,  July  10,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — Being  the  son  of  my  father,  I  forgot  to  put 
the  Delta  U.  employment  agency  pamphlet  in  the  last  letter, 
in  which  I  said  it  was  enclosed.  However,  I  enclose  it  now, 
and  a  newspaper  clipping  about  our  little  Howard.  By 
the  way,  did  he  graduate  this  June?  Your  letters  were 
suspiciously  silent  about  his  graduation. 

Here  is  a  translation  of  a  Latin  love  song  which  I  have 
made.  I  hope  you  appreciate  it. 

If  you  were  a  buttered  chameleon 
And  I  were  a  spoonful  of  tea, 
And  I  should  attract  your  attention 
And  you  sate  your  hunger  on  me, 

And  I  should  give  you  indigestion 
And  you  die  all  over  the  floor, 
Should  I  go  to  Heaven,  I  wonder, 
Or  merely  exist  no  more  ? 


Since  last  writing  to  you,  I  have  received  a  letter  from  a 
fellow  named  Compton  I  knew  at  the  University.  His 
aunt  (whom  I  met  at  the  class  day  dance)  is  interested  (as 
a  stockholder)  in  a  private  school  for  boys  in  Plainfield,  and 
secured  for  me  the  position  of  English  master  at  $700  per 
annum.  Of  course,  I  wouldn't  take  it — pay  too  small,  and 
no  prestige — but  it's  nice  to  have  these  offers. 

Well,  I  must  catch  this  mail.  Your  amiable  letters  from 
the  boat  came  today.  Wear  red  and  wash  your  face  daily 
and  you'll  be  all  right. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


40 


JOYCE  KILMER  IN  THE  CHARACTER  OF  Sidney  Carton, 
WITH  His  MOTHER  AS  Madame  Lefarge  (DICKENS' 
"TALE  OF  Two  CITIES"),  AT  FANCY  DRESS  RECEPTION 
HELD  BY  DICKENS  FELLOWSHIP,  1907 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Gale,  N.  Y.,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  had  only  one  letter  from  you  since  you 
left  America — the  one  written  when  you  were  about  to  land. 
However,  my  father  sent  us  a  swarm  of  amiable  young  letters 
you  had  sent  him,  and  I  enjoyed  them  very  much.  You 
evidently  had  a  large  time  aboard  the  ship.  The  letters  de 
scribing  the  journey  to  High  Kilburn — the  messenger  boy  and 
Salvation  Army  girl  episode — reminded  me  of  Sterne — pretty 
good!  But  then  you  have  acquired  a  certain  knack  of  de 
scription  from  my  instructions. 

Aline  is  making  raspberry  jam.  Pray  for  it,  for  it  is  in 
tribulation.  It  is  being  made  on  a  wood  fire,  which  occasion 
ally  blazes  up,  and  occasionally  goes  out.  We  picked  the 
berries  this  morning.  She  is  going  to  put  up  some  black 
berries  and  some  huckleberries,  and  has  expressed  insane 
desires  to  make  mixtures  after  your  manner.  I  curb  her  with 
difficulty  and  an  axe. 

However,  I  enclose  "Lizette,"  for  you  to  give  or  send  to  Mr. 
Bailey,  and  some  more  poetry  for  your  delectation  and 
improvement. 

We  would  like  to  hear  from  you  more  often ! !  Cut  out 
raising  Heck  awhile  and  chronicle  your  adventures  for  us! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


41 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Gale,  New  York,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — This  will  probably  be  the  last  letter  I  will 
write  you  from  Gale,  for  we  are  going  to  New  Brunswick  to 
visit  at  147  for  a  week  or  so.  As  soon  as  we  find  a  cheap 
mansion  in  Morristown,  and  get  it  furnished,  we  will  probably 
move  in. 

For  a  long  time  we  did  not  hear  from  you,  but  I  continued 
to  fire  off  letters.  A  day  or  so  ago  came  a  pipe,  two  letters, 
and  a  swarm  of  amiable  post-cards,  one  of  which  had  the  nerve 
to  curse  me  bitterly  for  not  writing!  It  is  curious  that  you 
should  be  visiting  places  where  Sterne  had  lived,  just  when  I 
was  reading  the  letters  you  wrote  to  my  father  (which  he  sent 
me)  and  noticing  their  strong  flavor  of  Sterne.  You  should 
read  "The  Sentimental  Journey."  You  would  enjoy  it,  I 
know.  It's  not  so  well  known  as  some  of  Sterne's  stuff,  but 
I  like  it  best.  The  pipe  is  amiable — I  never  saw  one  of  those 
patent  pipes  I  liked  so  well.  It.  didn't  burn  my  tongue  when 
I  "broke  it  in,"  as  most  pipes  do,  and  I  am  with  difficulty 
restrained  from  smoking  it  at  meals  and  when  in  swimming. 
Much  obliged! 

However,  I  wonder  how  we  will  get  along  when  visiting 
my  parent  in  New  Brunswick.  I  think  to  make  myself 
agreeable,  I  will  demand  booze  with  all  my  meals,  will  read 
the  Smart  Set  aloud,  and  invite  Seaumas  O'Shiel  out  for  a  visit. 

Don't  forget  to  give  or  send  "Lizette"  to  Mr.  Bailey. 

I  am  much  obliged  for  your  letters,  all  of  which  I  guess 
I've  received,  and  wish  they  were  more  numerous! 

I  enclose  some  poetry. 

Your  affectionate  son,  JOYCE. 


42 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


NAIADS 

In  the  sunlight  softly  showing, 
Maiden  forms  are  whitely  glowing 
Magic  maidens  wrapped  in  gleaming, 
Robes  of  light  are  streaming,  streaming 
Over  rocks  and  mosses  splashing, 
Ever  singing,  ever  dashing 
Silver  clouds  on  high! 

And  their  haunting,  ceaseless  singing 
Through  my  maddened  brain  is  ringing, 
For  they  sing  not  love  nor  laughter, 
Know  not  life  nor  what  comes  after. 
Only  know  the  poet's  pleasure, 
For  they  win  his  dearest  treasure, 
Make  sweet  sounds  and  die  I 


New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  Aug.  4,  1908 

DEAR  BRAT — Many  large  returns  of  today.  I  will  oscu 
late  and  smite  you  the  requisite  26  times  when  I  see  you! 

I  received  an  amiable  letter  from  you  yesterday.  God 
have  Mercy  on  Harold,  and  on  all  Christian  souls.  Deal 
gently,  good  man-destroying  infant,  with  the  simple  Yorkshire 
lads.  They  are  but  mortal.  However,  you  seem  to  revel  in 
the  carnage.  Did  you  send  my  poem  about  "Lizette"  to 
Mr.  Bailey? 

I  hope  you  liked  your  birthday  present.  I  have  another 
one  for  you,  which  I  will  give  you  when  you  return,  as  I  can't 
post  it  conveniently.  It  is  red,  but  further  I  will  not  state. 

I  am  writing  a  series  of  articles  for  Red  Cross  Notes  on 
the  "Psychology  of  Advertising."  My  father  is  at  the  dinner 
of  the  Directors  of  Johnson  &  Johnson  at  present. 

Aline  is  experimenting  in  cookery.  She  has  made  biscuits, 
cookies  and  corn  pudding,  and  is  going  to  put  up  some  peaches. 
Yours  enthusiastically  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

43 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1908 

DEAR  BRAT — Hail!  But  do  not,  for  the  love  of  Heaven, 
carry  that  stick!  You  are  expected  immediately  in  Morris- 
town — let  New  Brunswick  go  to  the  Deuce!  We  have  an 
amiable  young  house,  and  a  room  for  you,  red  and  white,  as 
much  as  possible.  You  are  expected  to  stay  here  for  some 
years,  and  if  you  attempt  to  leave,  your  stick  will  be  broken 
into  seven  pieces. 

Cold  weather.  However,  you  must  visit  the  school.  I 
have  in  all  about  one  hundred  pupils. 

The  pipe  you  gave  me  is  broken  in  now,  and  is  delectable. 

In  the  Morristown  Local  of  the  Socialist  Party  we  have 
one  doctor,  one  aristocrat  (Arrowsmith,  late  of  Seabury  & 
Johnson)  and  the  local  Baptist  minister. 

Hoping  immediately  to  see  you,  I  am, 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — Congratulations  on  the  Dickens  book  from 
Kain! 

We  have  made  a  window  seat  in  the  dining  room,  and 
covered  it  with  the  red  piano  cover.  The  blue  portieres  are 
hung  in  the  dining  room  alcove,  and  some  of  the  lace  curtains 
upstairs. 

I  have  finished  my  fairy  story  that  I  started  last  summer, 
and  written  my  bullfight  story.  I  have  to  deliver  an  address 
on  the  29th  on  "The  College  Man  and  Beligion."  It  is  a 
large  opportunity.  The  scene  is  to  be  South  St.  Presbyterian 
Church.  By  gad  I  will  give  them  Heck!  I  may  be  mobbed, 
but  I  will  have  an  enjoyable  evening. 

We  were  naturally  disappointed  that  you  didn't  come 
Thursday.  Come  out  this  Thursday,  or  have  your  face 
stepped  on.  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

44 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — Much  obliged  for  the  Post,  with  picture  of 
Deacon  Hill  shrinking  from  a  bath,  for  the  Home  News  and 
for  the  candy.  The  candy  was  darn  good — I  never  ate  any 
grape  fruit  peel  candied  before,  and  like  it  much  better  than 
candied  orange  peel. 

We  have  an  excellent  chance  for  renting  the  house. 

Also  much  obliged  for  the  Smart  Set.  It  was  a  very  good 
number.  I  suppose  you  have  seen  my  poem  in  the  current 
number  of  Moods.  I  have  about  a  dozen  mss.  out  now,  and 
hope  to  place  some  soon.  Please  tell  my  father  that  his  mss. 
is  corrected,  and  will  leave  here  tomorrow,  with  a  batch  of 
stuff  for  Red  Cross  Notes. 

I  have  sent  in  my  name  to  Pratt 's  Agency  for  a  new  job 
next  year  to  be  on  the  safe  side,  but  Miss  Brown  says  I'll 
probably  be  reelected  here.  However,  I  want  $200.00  more 
a  year.  I  am  going  to  try  for  a  job  with  some  N.  Y.  concern 
anyway,  like  the  Town  and  Country  one  I  nearly  landed. 

Well,  be  a  good  brat.  I  am  glad  to  hear  you  are  in  a 
proper  state  of  mind  now.  Telephone  at  your  convenience! 
Preferably  evenings. 

Hoping  soon  to  see  you,  I  am,  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


Thursday,  1909 

HELLO  BRAT! — I  hear  you  telephoned  to  me  this  morning. 
I  regret  that  I  was  sweetly  sleeping  at  the  time.  I  did  not 
have  all  my  evening  clothes,  and  Aline  was  weary,  so  we  stayed 
home  and  rested,  retiring  early. 

This  afternoon  I  worked  some,  and  read  some  Nicholas 
Nickleby  aloud  to  the  children.  It  is  a  fine  day.  I  will  call 
you  up  today,  Thursday,  but  I  suppose  this  letter  won't 
reach  you  till  after  I  have  telephoned  you. 

Be  a  good  child,  wash  your  face  daily. 

My  poem  is  half  done!  and  I  have  just  sent  off  my  Psychol 
ogy  note  to  Prof.  Wood  worth. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

45 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — The  doctor  came  today  and,  after  examining 
Kenton,  said  no  further  operation  was  necessary.  This  is  in 
many  respects  fortunate. 

Will  you  please  give  Netty  a  quarter  and  say  I  sent  it. 
I'll  pay  you  Friday  when  you're  here.  I  forgot  to  tip  her 
yesterday,  and  I  can't  send  a  quarter  by  mail  easily. 

It  rained  just  enough  to  keep  down  the  dust  yesterday,  and 
we  did  not  get  wet.  Kenton  is  well,  and  occasionally  speaks 
of  his  visit  to  New  Brunswick  with  much  enthusiasm. 

We  had  a  darn  good  time  in  New  Brunswick. 

The  Breeces  are  astonished  at  my  resplendent  attire. 

Come  Friday!  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — We've  been  waiting  for  Kenton's  picture  to 
send  you,  so  there  has  been  delay,  but  I  hope  you  will  get  this 
in  time  for  your  landing. 

I've  had  two  offers  of  principalship — one  in  Hamilton, 
Bermuda,  and  one  in  Pompton  Lakes,  N.  J.  I  probably  will 
not  go  to  Bermuda.  I  went  to  New  York  last  night  to  see 
about  the  Pompton  Lakes  job,  and  I  think  I  stand  a  good 
chance  of  getting  it. 

By  now  you  know  of  my  Memorial  sonnet  on  George 
Meredith,  which  appeared  in  last  Thursday's  New  York  Sun. 
I  enclose  copy  of  it. 

It  is  very  hot  here.  Kenton  is  asleep.  He  looks  pretty 
well  now;  he's  not  such  a  bad-looking  child. 

I  have  bought  a  new  book  by  Kenneth  Grahame,  called 
"The  Wind  in  the  Willows."  You  remember,  you  liked  his 
"Dream  Days"  and  "The  Golden  Age"  so  much. 

There  is,  of  course,  still  a  chance  of  my  going  to  New 
Wilmington,  Pennsylvania,  to  teach  in  the  college  there — 
Westminster  College  it  is  called. 

We  are  going  to  move  next  Monday.  Just  address  my 
letters  Morristown,  N.  J.,  until  June  25. 

I  will  write  more  very  soon,  but  the  postman  is  coming  now. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

46 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — I  received  a  young  letter  from  you  recently. 
I  knew  you  would  break  your  accustomed  resolution  of  isola 
tion  on  shipboard — in  fact  you  do  not  possess  to  any  remark 
able  extent  the  qualities  of  a  recluse. 

I  have  had  one  poem  printed  since  my  Meredith  sonnet  in 
the  Sun — a  quatrain  in  Moods,  a  copy  of  which  I  enclose. 

Today  I  received  word  from  Professor  Glen  Swigget,  of 
the  University  of  the  South,  that  he  had  accepted  my  poem 
"Prayer  to  Bragi"  and  would  print  it  in  an  early  number  of 
his  magazine,  The  Pathfinder.  This  magazine  (not  to  be 
confused  with  a  weekly  news  magazine  of  the  same  name, 
published  in  Washington)  is  probably  the  best  sustained 
literary  monthly  in  America,  if  not  in  the  world.  It  prints 
nothing  but  poetry  and  essays,  and  numbers  among  its 
contributors  Ludwig  Lewissohn,  Edith  Thomas,  Clinton 
Scollard,  Henry  Van  Dyke  and  others  of  equal  genius.  My 
"Prayer  to  Bragi"  is  founded  on  a  Norse  legend  of  the  origin 
of  poetry.  I  read  it  to  you  once,  and  will  send  you  a  copy  of 
it  when  it  appears.  My  sonnet  in  the  Sun  has  been  reprinted 
in  Morristown,  New  Brunswick,  Norfolk  and  Newark 
papers,  and  has  now  passed  into  "Plate  Matter,"  that  is, 
into  the  syndicated  "patent  insides"  that  are  sent  around  to 
country  newspapers  in  various  parts  of  the  United  States. 

I  do  not  know  what  I  will  do  next  year.  I  hope  to  get 
literary  work  of  some  kind.  I  have  been  offered  three  prin- 
cipalships,  two  in  New  Jersey  and  one  in  Bermuda,  but  I 
want  literary  work,  not  school  teaching. 

Well,  be  a  good  infant  and  write!  Letters  are  preferable  to 
postcards. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


47 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Metuchen,  N.  J.,  August  7,  1909 

DEAR  BRAT — Naturally,  I  was  much  pleased  with  your 
enthusiastic  praise  of  my  "Ballade  of  Butterflies."  I  like  it 
myself,  and  I  thought  it  would  appeal  to  you. 

I  have  not  started  work  with  Funk  &  Wagnalls  yet,  as 
the  arrangements  are  still  unfinished.  I  received  a  letter 
from  Town  and  Country  recently,  saying  that  they  were  sending 
me  a  book  to  review,  and  that  they  expected  to  use  my  services 
more  frequently  during  the  coming  year. 

I  enclose  a  circular  advertising  "The  Younger  Choir," 
a  book  which  is  to  consist  of  the  work  of  a  number  of  young 
writers  of  verse,  including  myself.  Edwin  Markham,  who 
is  to  edit  the  book,  wrote  "The  Man  with  the  Hoe,"  and  is  a 
distinguished  man  of  letters.  Of  the  contributors,  Viereck, 
Oppenheim  and  Van  Noppen  are  the  best  known.  Viereck 
is  assistant  editor  of  Current  Literature,  and  a  poet  of  some 
distinction.  His  play,  "The  Vampire,"  attracted  much  atten 
tion  in  New  York  last  season.  It  is  said  that  he  has  the  right 
to  wear  the  German  Imperial  arms — with  the  bar  sinister. 
Oppenheim  has  the  entre*e  to  most  of  the  magazines  of  impor 
tance.  So  has  Van  Noppen,  who  is  a  Lowell  Institute  lecturer. 
My  father  has  ordered  two  copies  in  your  name. 

I  have  a  rather  rare  Dickens  book  for  you.  It  is  a  Dic 
tionary  of  the  Thames,  written  by  the  novelist  when  he  was 
a  young  journalist.  Aline  is  delighted  with  the  egg  and  toast 
rack.  So  am  I.  So  is  Kenton.  She  has  a  birthday  present 
to  give  you  when  you  get  back.  I  have  another  present  for 
you,  too,  but  I  won't  tell  you  what  it  is.  However,  it's  nice. 
I  saw  it  in  New  York  and  thought  you  might  like  it. 

We  dined  with  Sflager  last  night.  She  sent  her  love  to  you. 
She  is  looking  very  well. 

I  am  glad  you  are  having  a  good  time.  I  think  you  will 
enjoy  next  winter  while  we  are  in  New  York.  We'll  have 
large  times!  I  am  at  work  on  a  novel. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

48 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  1909 

HELLO  BRAT! — Hope  you  enjoyed  your  birthday.  En 
closed  find  fifteen  (the  correct  number,  I  believe,  with  one 
over)  enthusiastic  embraces  and  an  equal  number  of  severe 
blows  upon  what  may  delicately  be  designated  the  back  of 
your  stomach.  Kenton  eagerly  says  the  same. 

I  sent  you  a  red  leather  portfolio.  Use  it  to  write  me,  imp 
and  fiend  that  you  are!  Lord,  I've  written  twenty  letters  to 
your  one  this  summer! 

We  went  to  the  Parkers'  tea  today — Aline  in  her  reception 
gown,  and  I  in  my  grey  suit  with  my  stick  and  new  Panama 
hat. 

You  remember  the  poem  ''Rose  and  Grey"  which  was  sug 
gested  to  me  by  Mr.  George  Bailey's  letter?  It  has  been  ac 
cepted  by  The  Bang.  This  magazine  is  devoted  almost 
exclusively  to  verse,  and  is  edited  by  Alexander  Harvey,  who 
is  editor  also  of  Current  Literature.  It  is  a  very  high-class 
magazine,  and  entry  to  its  pages  is  a  thing  greatly  to  be  de 
sired.  I  enclose  Mr.  Harvey's  letter  of  acceptance. 

Practically  every  one  at  the  tea  asked  after  you.  Miss 
Molt  said,  "I  don't  ask  if  she's  having  a  good  time — she  carries 
a  good  time  wherever  she  goes!" 

I  am  darn  glad  you  are  sailing  sooner  than  you  expected! 
So  is  Aline!  So  is  Kenton!  Kenton  wishes  an  answer  to  his 
postcard.  You  will  like  my  Panama  hat.  It  cost  five  dollars. 
During  this  hot  weather  Kenton  wears  only  a  band  and  a  pair 
of  diapers.  He  has  no  teeth. 

Well,  be  a  good  brat !  Go  to  London  by  all  means  if  you 
get  a  chance !  And  write  me  a  letter  for  the  love  of  Heaven ! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


49 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — This  is  the  eighth  letter  written  since  hearing 
from  you.  Enclosed  find  a  picture  of  Morristown  High  School 
faculty.  I  mentioned  it  before  and  meant  to  send  it,  but  mis 
laid  it.  I  am  in  the  lower  right-hand  corner.  Mr.  Morey 
is  seated  just  above  me.  The  other  man  in  the  picture  is 
Dr.  Pierson.  He  is  in  the  picture  because  of  his  position  as 
president  of  the  Board  of  Education.  Miss  Brown  (the  as 
sistant  principal)  whom  you  met  at  Lakeside  Place,  is  the 
lady  in  the  centre  of  the  top  row.  Miss  Slack,  whom  you  also 
met,  is  next  to  Dr.  Pierson. 

I  have  just  this  evening  concluded  some  work  I  have  been 
doing  for  Red  Cross  Notes.  I  am  now  at  work  on  a  special 
article  for  the  Literary  Digest  on  the  French  view  of  Meredith. 
I  will  send  you  a  copy  of  the  issue  in  which  it  appears.  In  it 
I  make  a  translation  from  M.  Charles  Chasse's  article  "La 
France  dans  1'Oeuvre  de  Meredith"  in  La  Revue  for  June  15. 
I  will  also  send  you  the  August  Moods  and  the  August  Path 
finder,  in  both  of  which  I  have  poems — "Tribute"  and  "Prayer 
to  Bragi." 

I  bought  your  present  in  New  York  yesterday.  It  is  large 
and  red,  and  is  coming  not  by  post,  but  by  mail.  Try  and 
deserve  it  by  writing  occasionally  in  the  intervals  of  wall 
climbing  and  general  raising  of  Heck. 

Kenton  and  Aline  send  love.  They  are  wailing  and  cursing 
for  lack  of  letters  from  you.  Kenton  said  last  night,  "Some 
English  infant  has  cut  me  out." 

Yours  with  love,  JOYCE. 


50 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  1909 

DEAR  BRAT — Received  an  amiable  young  letter  from  you 
today.  Aline  was  delighted  with  her  pendant.  She  has 
recently  started  to  wear  black  ribbons  around  her  throat  and 
she  likes  the  pendant  to  hang  on  it.  By  the  way,  the  red  port 
folio  was  not  from  Aline  and  myself,  as  I  have  several  times 
distinctly  stated !  It  was  from  me !  Aline  is  making  a  birth 
day  present  for  you,  which  will  be  ready  on  your  arrival. 

My  work  with  Funk  &  Wagnalls  does  not  start  until  about 
Sept.  10,  so  temporarily  I  am  working  at  the  factory,  making 
a  fool  book  about  window  displays.  God  help  the  druggist 
who  decks  his  window  after  my  suggestions!  Speaking  of 
God,  Arthur  Devan  called  last  night.  He  was  much  em 
barrassed  when  Kenton  appeared  in  his  nightgown  to  greet 
him.  When  he  departed,  Arthur  shook  hands  with  Aline 
and  remarked,  "Good  night,  Buster!"  immediately  turning 
purple  and  explaining  that  he  meant  Kenton,  not  Aline,  by 
this  laudatory  title. 

I  expect  to  be  down  to  meet  you  when  you  return,  unless 
my  Funk  &  Wagnalls  work  has  begun  then.  Even  if  it  has, 
I  will  see  you  that  evening,  for  we're  going  to  stay  with  you 
until  October  first.  I'll  commute  from  New  Brunswick  to 
New  York. 

Kenton  is  writing  you  a  letter  to  go  by  this  same  mail. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

Fll.be  darn  glad  to  get  you  back  home! 


51 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 

New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  1909 

DEAR  BRAT — McAlister  and  I  did  not  stay  long  with  the 
Higher  Education  Association.  The  magazine  was  a  vision 
ary  impalpable  thing,  not  to  come  into  being  for  some  months. 
Meanwhile  our  work  as  assistant  editors  was  to  consist  not  in 
preparing  copy  nor  writing  anything,  but  in  selling  stock,  an 
occupation  for  which  we  were  not  particularly  fitted  or  in 
clined.  Also,  the  stock  was  speculative  in  the  extreme — so 
much  so  that  a  blind  kitten  of  average  discretion  would  refuse 
to  invest  therein.  Accordingly,  especially  since  we  were  to 
sell  stock  on  commission,  not  on  salary,  we  resigned.  Mc 
Alister  is  now  a  night  reporter  on  the  Sun;  I  have  got  a  job 
with  Funk  &  Wagnalls,  the  publishers  of  the  Literary  Digest. 
My  work  will  begin  August  1st,  and  will  consist  chiefly  of 
preparing  articles  on  modern  French  literature  and  reading 
French  books  submitted  to  the  house  for  publication.  I  do 
not  know  what  the  salary  will  be.  If  I  don't  like  that  job — or 
if  Funk  &  Wagnalls  don't  like  me — I  have  a  chance  to  enter 
the  book  department  of  Scribner's  on  Sept.  1st.  In  either 
case  we  will  live  in  New  York,  which  ought  to  gratify  you. 
We  will  take  you  to  dinner  at  the  Caf£  Boulevard,  where  they 
have  an  amiable  roof  garden  and  a  Hungarian  orchestra  in 
costume,  and  a  man  with  a  mandolin,  who  sings  in  Hungarian 
and  Italian. 

By  the  way,  try  and  procure  and  learn  two  Italian  songs, 
one  of  which  goes  "Chimiminimi!"  and  the  other  of  which 
is  called  "Finiculi  Finicula."  The  second  is  about  a  gravity 
railroad  on  Mt.  Vesuvius. 

Kenton  insists  on  preventing  me  from  sleeping  in  the 
morning,  when  left  on  the  bed,  by  crawling  after  me  and 
punching  me.  He  does  not  cry  much,  but  he  converses 
and  laughs  loudly  all  the  time.  His  eyes  are  brown.  Helen 
Hardenburgh  thinks  he  looks  like  you. 

I  enclose  a  copy  of  a  Ballade  I  wrote  recently,  also  a  pic 
ture  of  some  boys  who  were  in  the  Morristown  High  School. 
While  I  have  had  several  chances  to  teach  school  at  a  good 
salary,  I  had  rather  do  literary  work  for  smaller  pay. 

Be  a  good  infant  I  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

52 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


147  College  Ave.,  New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  1909 

DEAR  BRAT — I  received  an  amiable  young  letter  from  you 
recently,  and  I  was  darned  glad  to  get  it,  for  I'd  been  feeling 
rotten  about  not  getting  any  while  my  father  was  getting 
a  lot. 

I  start  work  in  New  York  a  week  from  Monday  with  Funk 
&  Wagnalls.  The  tunnel  under  the  river  is  done  now,  so  I  do 
not  need  to  cross  by  the  ferries.  This  saves  a  good  deal  of 
time.  I  expect  to  go  to  New  York  on  business  next  week 
early.  I  hope  you  get  your  present  in  time  for  your  birth 
day.  Furthermore  I  hope  you  like  it ! 

I  saw  the  picture  Ferguson  drew  of  you.  He  may  be  a 
worthy  youth,  but  nevertheless  with  all  deference  I  beg  to 
state  that  the  picture  is  a  damnable  caricature  and  that  I 
should  enjoy  making  him  eat  it. 

Kenton  does  not  cry  much  but  he  laughs  and  shouts  loudly, 
waving  his  arms.  He  delights  to  do  this  mornings  when  I  wish 
to  sleep.  Furthermore  he  catches  my  hair  and  endeavors  to 
rise  by  means  thereof.  He  took  an  unlit  cigar  from  me  the 
other  day  and  began  to  eat  it.  I  stopped  him,  as  it  was  a  good 
cigar. 

NOTICE — See  the  pageant  at  Bath  if  you  get  a  chance! 
It's  going  to  be  especially  good.  Also,  by  all  means  go  to 
London !  You  will  be  very  foolish  if  you  neglect  to. 

Aline  and  I  dined  with  the  Corbins  last  Wednesday.  Sflag- 
er  said  she  had  a  letter  from  you  and  intended  to  write 
soon.  She  is  looking  very  well  now.  She  sleeps  out  on 
a  balcony. 

Well,  for  Heaven's  sake,  write  occasionally  I  Aline  and 
Kenton  send  Jove!  Both  will  write  soon. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


53 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1909 

DEAR  BRAT — Allow  me  to  remark  that  this  is  the  fourth 
letter  I  have  written  since  hearing  from  you!  My  Yorkshire 
pipe  is  accumulating  an  excellent  cake.  I  am  spending  most 
of  my  time  nowadays  reading  French,  as  my  wrork  with  Funk 
&  Wagnalls  will  be  largely  in  the  line  of  reading  French  books 
and  manuscripts. 

Kenton  is  growing  considerably  human,  and  sends  his 
love.  He  seems  to  be  fond  of  Maria,  whom  he  usually  has 
with  him.  He  is  now  out  on  the  porch  sleeping  in  his  carriage, 
and  secured  from  flies  by  means  of  mosquito  netting. 

If  you  happen  to  see  Mr.  Bailey  this  summer,  remember 
me  to  him.  I  suppose  we'll  start  in  securing  a  flat  in  New 
York  soon.  My  office  will  be  44  West  23rd  St.,  right  near 
the  shopping  district,  so  it  will  be  easy  for  you  to  go  out  to 
lunch  with  me  when  you  come  to  New  York.  We  will  go  to 
Dorlon's,  which  is  next  door  to  my  office,  or  to  Cavanagh's, 
which  is  only  two  blocks  off,  or  to  the  restaurant  in  the  base 
ment  of  the  Flatiron  Building,  which  is  on  the  next  corner. 
I  have  discovered  an  amiable  drink,  which  I  am  eager  to  see 
you  consume.  It  consists  of  equal  parts  of  French  Vermouth 
and  Cassis,  and  is  served  in  a  cocktail  glass. 

It  seems  to  me  you  might  write  to  me  at  least  as  often  as 
you  do  to  my  father!  I've  written  to  you  certainly  as  often 
as  he  has,  if  not  more  often.  If  you  didn't  get  the  letters, 
Timpson  didn't  forward  them,  that's  all,  for  I've  written  every 
week  since  you  left  except  the  week  we  were  moving  into  the 
boarding  house,  and  the  following  week  I  wrote  twice.  Yet 
my  father  gets  letters  every  other  day,  while  Kenton  and  I  are 
left  in  the  cold. 

I  expect  to  send  your  birthday  present  off  the  first  part  of 
this  week.  I  hope  you  like  it — it's  a  present  worthy  of  an 
amiable,  intelligent  letter- writing  infant — try  to  deserve  it! 
I  am  going  shares  on  my  father's  present  to  you,  but  this  is 

54 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


a  separate,  distinct  and  individual  additional  present,  such  as 
no  other  infant,  however  worthy,  ever  received. 

In  the  next  issue  of  Moods,  which  appears  August  1st, 
I  have  a  poem.  I  have  a  poem  also  in  the  Pathfinder  for 
August.  By  the  way,  I  told  you  about  the  Pathfinder  poem 
about  a  month  ago,  and  you  didn't  mention  it.  Do  you 
remember  receiving  the  letter?  Moods  is  a  large  and  prosper 
ous  magazine  now,  as  large  as  the  Strand,  and  numbering 
among  its  contributors  Julia  Marlowe,  George  Sylvester 
Viereck,  Percy  MacKaye  and  myself. 

Seaumas  O'Shiel  has  become  a  Socialist. 

Kenton  wears  white  woolen  socks  as  a  cure  for  colic.  Did 
you  ever  hear  of  that  remedy?  You  might  try  it  as  a  pre 
ventive  of  seasickness. 

Well,  we'd  be  having  a  darned  sight  better  time  if  you 
were  here.  That's  straight,  and  not  intended  as  flattery,  for 
in  several  respects  you  are  an  infant  worthy  of  considerable 
enthusiastic  approval. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


55 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


125  Wadsworth  Ave.,  New  York  City,  1909 

MRS.  KlLBURN-KlLMER. 

DEAR  BRAT — Enclosed  find  a  poem  which  you  may  perhaps 
like.  Next  Thursday  I  am  to  start  translating  a  Russian  play, 
"The  Cherry  Garden,"  with  a  friend  of  mine  who  is  an  exiled 
Revolutionist.  He  will  put  it  into  English  and  I  will  revise 
the  English.  It  will  then  be  published  as  a  separate  volume 
by  Moods  Publishing  Co.  Of  course  we  won't  make  any 
money  out  of  it,  but  it  will  be  amusing. 

I  am  working  for  Funk  &  Wagnalls  now  at  $15.00  a  week. 
The  work  is  pleasant  and  the  hours  are  short,  and  the  associa 
tions  are  most  desirable. 

Come  out  soon!  My  lunch  hour  is  from  12:30  to  1:30. 
My  office  is  on  23rd  Street,  right  by  the  Subway. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


New  York,  Dec.  22,  1909 

DEAR  RRAT — Don't  be  an  idiot!  We  decided  yesterday 
evening,  long  before  your  infantile  letter  came,  that  we  would 
come  to  New  Rrunswick  Friday,  Christmas  Eve,  in  time  for 
dinner,  and  stay  over  night  and  to  dinner  next  day.  One 
advantage  of  so  doing  is  that  Eenton  can  hang  up  his  sock  by 
the  gas  logs.  He  has  teething  rings  made  out  of  biscuit. 

If  you  are  a  good  child  I'll  give  you  the  nicest  Christmas 
present  you  ever  got  from  me.  If  not  you'll  get  spanked  so 
that  you  will  have  to  eat  your  Christmas  dinner  off  the  piano. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE 


56 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1910 

MY  GOOD  INFANT — Help!  Puff's  birthday  is  the  21st,  and 
according  to  your  own  statement  and  our  agreement,  it  is  to 
be  celebrated  not  this  coming  Sunday,  but  Easter  Sunday, 
the  27th!  And  Aline  is  to  have  her  new  hat  finished  by  that 
date,  and  her  new  suit,  and  I  am  to  wear  my  Prince  Albert 
and  perhaps  if  it's  a  fine  day  we  will  parade  to  church  and 
distract  the  general  attention  from  Comrade  Elisha  Brooks' s 
sermon. 

You  said,  "Shall  we  celebrate  Puff's  birthday  the  21st 
or  on  Easter  Sunday?"  I  said,  "On  Easter  Sunday,  because 
I  may  get  Good  Friday  and  Easter  Eve  off!"  You  said, 
"Good."  Puff  said,  "Good  indeed." 

And  get  to  the  office  before  12:30  Thursday.     I  have  a 
new  luncheon  place — and  I  guarantee  the  production  of  King 
— absolutely!     Will  hand  you  your  gift  Thursday. 

Say,  there  may  possibly  be  rather  important  results  from 
an  interview  I  am  to  have  with  Charles  Thompson,  John 
A.  Moroso  and  some  other  people  this  Saturday  evening! 
But  don't  say  anything  about  it  until  I  tell  you  definitely. 
I  may  leave  Funk  &  Wagnalls  for  much  more  desirable  work. 
I'll  tell  you  more  about  it  Thursday. 

So,  you  see,  we  may  spend  Good  Friday,  Easter  Eve,  and 
Easter  Day  in  New  Brunswick.  Be  a  good  child! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


57 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 

1910 

DEAR  BRAT — There  is  a  strike  in  Philadelphia,  so  come  here 
by  12:30  Thursday,  and  we  will  lunch  at  the  Fifth  Avenue 
restaurant — on  Fifth  Avenue  near  24th  St. 

"Jesus  and  the  Summer  Rain"  was  in  Sunday's  Call. 

Saturday  night  we  had  the  first  meeting  of  our  new  maga 
zine  staff.  Don't  say  anything  about  it,  or  I'll  be  fired  from 
Funk  &  Wagnalls!  I'll  tell  you  all  about  it  when  I  see  you. 

Find  out  what  clothes  of  mine  are  in  New  Brunswick ! 

Puff  says  you  told  him  he  could  eat  fruit-cake  and  drink 
champagne  at  his  party.  He  ate  his  postcard  this  morning 
with  great  satisfaction,  before  he  was  detected. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


New  York,  Oct.  21,  1910 

DEAR  BRAT — Here  is  the  clipping  concerning  Simpson. 
We  went  up  to  the  apartment  last  night.  The  Subway  was 
blocked,  so  we  took  a  surface  car,  which  took  about  two  hours. 

That  was  a  very  delightful  luncheon  yesterday.  I  hope 
you  enjoyed  Glenzer  and  the  show. 

Yours  affectionately,  Joyce. 


New  York,  Dec.  1,  1910 

DEAR  BRAT — Enclosed  find  the  letter  for  Glenzer.  It  is 
a  very  nice  letter.  That  card  I  showed  was  simply  an  invita 
tion  to  an  evening  at  the  Authors'  Club,  not  a  membership 
card.  I  am  not  eligible  to  join  until  I  publish  a  book. 

Tell  my  father  I  am  collecting  the  book  catalogues  he 
required.  Come  out!  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

58 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1910 

DEAR  BRAT — Enclosed  find  poem.  The  Times  gave  me 
only  $6.00  for  "Chevley  Crossing,"  so  I  have  quit  giving 

them  stuff.     L is  no  longer  editor  of  the  Sunday  Times, 

and  the  present  occupant  of  his  position  probably  never  read 
any  verse  before  he  got  his  present  job.  I  won't  bother  with 
the  Times  at  all  until  the  present  Sunday  editor  is  fired  or 
mercifully  killed. 

Barry  says  he  received  a  charming  letter  from  you.  He 
also  reproved  me  for  failing  to  inherit  your  laugh.  Slip,  slap, 
slop. 

Let  every  one  pray  for  the  soul  of  Edward  VII.  He  needs 
it. 

We  dined  at  the  Petitpas  the  other  night.  There  were  old 
Mr.  Yeats,  Eric  Bell,  Snedden,  Kraymborg,  Hartpence,  Van 
Wyck,  Brooks,  Aline  and  myself.  Then  we  went  to  Henri's 
studio.  Norman  Poe  and  Ellen  Terry's  son  and  numerous 
other  people  were  there. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


Jan.  3,  1910 

DEAR  BRAT — My  "Butterfly  Ballade"  was  in  the  magazine 
section  of  yesterday's  New  York  Times.  I  had  forgotten 
that  I  had  sent  it  to  them.  They  have  in  their  possession  also 
my  "King's  Ballade,"  which  I  suppose  they  will  print  soon. 

Be  a  good  child! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


59 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1910 

DEAR  BRAT — The  question  is,  does  the  postcard  you  sent 
my  father — I  got  none! — represent  "Nymph  and  Swineherd" 
or  "The  Suffragette  and  the  British  Workman"?  It  is,  at 
any  rate,  an  interesting  picture. 

I  had  two  bits  of  verse  in  today's  Times — "Love's  Rosary," 
which  you  have  seen,  as  I  wrote  it  last  year  in  Morristown,  and 
"Love's  Thoroughfare,"  a  recent  sonnet.  I  am  sending  you 
(by  my  father,  who  steams  Tuesday)  the  magazine  section  of 
the  Times  containing  these  verses  and  also  a  poem  by  Shaemas, 
and  another  by  my  friend  John  A.  Moroso,  of  whom  I  spoke 
to  you. 

Puff  has  asked  me  to  enclose  one  of  his  pictures  for  you. 
He  has  had  rather  a  hard  day,  combining  indigestion  with 
rolling  down  the  porch-steps.  He  is  peacefully  sleeping  now 
and  will  be  all  right  tomorrow. 

Puff  has  a  large  vocabulary  nowadays,  and  an  ingratiating 
manner.  He  is  not  reading  so  much  as  formerly,  however. 

We  are  going  to  dinner  with  my  father  tomorrow  night  at 
Luchow's.  Then  we  are  going  back  to  New  Brunswick,  and 
my  father  will  stay  over  night  at  a  hotel  or  on  the  boat.  I 
have  a  number  of  new  pieces  of  verse  to  show  you  when  you 
return,  and  I  am  looking  forward  to  our  Thursday  luncheons 
with  much  pleasure.  Also  you  have  a  birthday  present  await 
ing  you. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


60 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


June  30  to  July  6,  1910 

DEAR  BRAT — We  are  going  out  to  New  Brunswick  in  the 
motor  car  Saturday  afternoon. 

Much  obliged  for  insane  but  amiable  group  pictures. 
One  male  god-child  of  yours  is  fairly  attractive.  I  don't 
know  whether  it's  a  Sharp,  a  Woolard  or  a  Starling.  You 
certainly  are  looking  prosperous. 

We  are  all  recovered  now  from  our  various  ailments.  I 
suppose  you  are  tremendously  excited  over  the  Jeffries- 
Johnson  fight  on  July  4th.  I  will  cable  you  the  result  collect. 

This  letter  has  been  lost  for  several  days.  I  have  just 
found  it  and  will  complete  it. 

Johnson  defeated  Jeffries,  as  I  suppose  you  have  heard. 
My  sonnet  "Court  Musicians"  was  in  Sunday's  Times.  I'll 
send  you  a  copy.  We  are  all  out  in  New  Brunswick. 

It  is  now  about  the  ninth  of  July.  Hereafter  I  will  finish 
my  letters  at  a  sitting,  as  this  business  of  writing  at  odd 
intervals  seems  to  delay  the  completion  of  an  epistle  indefi 
nitely. 

By  way  of  a  mid-summer  recreation,  I  decided  to  have  my 
throat  expurgated  yesterday,  so  I  had  two  physicians  out  to 
remove  my  tonsils. 

Wait  till  you  see  your  birthday  present ! 

Thank  you  for  the  Thrushes.  I  anticipate  their  arrival 
with  great  pleasure. 

By  the  way,  while  you  are  in  England,  by  all  means  take 
in  some  of  the  seashore  resorts  like  Brighton  or  Folkstone. 
That  is  a  feature  of  English  life,  apparently  distinctive  and 
interesting. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


61 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


September  30,  1910 

DEAR  BRAT — We  went  to  New  York  to  move  our  furniture 
into  our  new  apartment,  and  have  just  got  back.  We  have 
an  apartment  with  the  same  number  of  rooms  as  before,  but 
very  much  larger,  with  electric  light,  and  front  instead  of  rear, 
and  the  rent  amounts  to  only  a  quarter  a  month  more.  It's 
on  184th  -Street — about  as  far  from  the  Subway  as  before. 
You  have  a  large  room  with  very  fine  golden  paper!  Take 
advantage  of  it!  Furthermore,  you  have  a  present  waiting 
for  you — your  birthday  present,  in  fact! 

Puff  has  been  visiting  his  friend  Mollie  Campbell  in  Me- 
tuchen,  and  returned  to  New  Brunswick  today.  He  is  eagerly 
anticipating  your  return,  and  intends  to  start  shaving  soon. 

The  pipe  you  sent  me  has  two  hats  now.  It  smokes 
excellently,  and  I  think  the  wood  will  grow  darker.  You 
certainly  showed  discretion  in  the  selection  of  the  stem  and 
mouthpiece. 

We  called  on  Sflager  last  Sunday.     She  is  looking  well. 

I|wonder  if  you  saw  "The  Blue  Bird"  in  London.  I  think 
it  must  be  much  better  worth  seeing  than  "Chanticleer." 

Your*  friend  Roosevelt  has  been  elected  temporary  chair 
man  of  the  Republican  party  convention. 

I  hear  that  the  ladies  of  London  now  smoke  slender  Jap 
anese  pipes  instead  of  cigarettes. 

I  have  written  a  number  of  poems  that  you  will  see  on 
your  return.  I  am  going  to  send  some  to  two  London  pub 
lications — the  Spectator  and  the  New  Age,  both  of  which 
are  very  interesting  weeklies. 

Well,  we'll  see  you  before  long.  We'll  all  try  to  get  down 
to  the  dock  to  see  you  land,  if  we  find  out  when  the  boat  comes 
in,  which  we  probably  will  be  able  to  do. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


62 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1910 

DEAR  BRAT — We  are  on  the  shore  of  a  very  large  lake. 
Our  cottage  is  on  the  side  of  a  mountain.  The  lake  is  sur 
rounded  by  mountains  which  come  right  down  to  the  water. 
Last  night  it  snowed,  and  this  morning  there  is  snow  on  top 
of  the  mountains  across  the  lake.  We  have  a  motor  boat  and 
several  row-boats.  We  row  and  walk  a  good  deal.  It  is 
very  cold  but  we  have  a  big  open  fire  of  birch  logs. 

The  reviews  in  the  New  Brunswick  papers  were  very  good. 
You  are  an  admirable  press-agent.  Much  obliged! 

The  day  before  I  left  I  was  told  that  Mr.  Pickering,  the 
head  of  the  illustration  department  of  the  Dictionary,  was 
leaving  because  of  ill  health.  Mr.  Vizetelly  offered  me  his 
job  (Mr.  Pickering's,  not  Mr.  Vizetelly's)  and  I  accepted  it. 
I  have  an  assistant.  I  don't  know  anything  about  illustra 
tions,  but  I'll  make  my  assistant  do  the  work. 

I'm  glad  Reed's  is  going  to  carry  my  book  in  stock.  I  told 
the  Baker  &  Taylor  Co.  to  write  to  him.  I  hope  he  sells  some. 

I  suppose  the  convention  is  now  convening.  How  ex 
hilarating.  Thank  you  for  the  watch  and  for  sending  Stewart 
Walker  the  pictures.  I  hope  my  father  is  by  this  time  in 
good  health. 

In  coming  up  here  we  left  the  boat  at  Albany.  I  remember 
visiting  some  cousins  or  something  there  some  years  ago  with 
you.  They  had  a  translation  of  the  "Divina  Commedia" 
and  a  humourous  connection  by  marriage.  They  lived  up 
three  flights  of  stairs.  Who  were  they?  They  had  a  cat 
and  several  kittens. 

Kenton  is  clamouring  for  exercise,  so  I  guess  I'll  let  him 
row  us  across  the  lake  to  post  this  letter. 

Be  a  good  infant.  I  certainly  am  obliged  to  you  for  those 
notices.  I  will  be  glad  to  see  you  again. 

Aline  and  Kenton  send  love. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE, 

63 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1910 

DEAR  BRAT — I  will  be  very  glad  to  have  you  with  me 
Thursday  at  12:30.  Get  to  the  office  about  12:20  if  you  can. 
Furthermore,  I'll  pick  out  a  nice  matine'e  for  you  to  go  to. 

Didn't  a  copy  of  the  January  Pathfinder  come  for  me?  If 
it  did  please  bring  it,  and  any  other  mail  I  may  receive. 

Remember  that  Thursday  is  the  day  you're  coming — I 
have  luncheon  engagements  for  Tuesday  and  Wednesday. 

You  were  particularly  fashionably  attired  when  last  you 
appeared.  I  may  introduce  you  to  Mr.  King,  if  he's  around 
when  you're  on  hand  Thursday. 

I  finished  the  article  my  father  wished,  and  am  sending 
it  to  him  by  this  mail. 

By  the  way,  Mrs.  Trask's  play,"The  Little  Town  of  Beth 
lehem,"  is  at  Madison  Square  Garden  Theatre,  not  the  New 
Theatre.  It  started  a  week  ago  today,  that  is,  the  17th,  and 
was  scheduled  to  run  only  16  performances.  So  if  you're 
going  to  it,  you'd  better  get  busy. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


64 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1911 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  now  completely  recovered  from  the 
measles,  and  am  back  at  work  again.  Now  Kenton  has  the 
ailment,  but  we  expect  he  will  be  well  by  the  time  you  get  this 
letter.  I  am  sending  a  copy  of  The  Forum,  which  contains 
Le  Gallienne's  review  of  "The  Younger  Choir,"  in  which  he 
pleasantly  mentions  my  Ballade. 

During  my  illness  I  asked  Aline  what  time  it  was  late  one 
night.  For  answer  she  arose,  fast  asleep,  and  in  the  pitch 
darkness  handed  me  the  alarm  clock  and  went  back  to  bed. 

If  you  happen  to  run  across  any  of  the  publications  of  The 
Samaurai  Press,  of  Surrey,  will  you  send  me  a  copy  if  they 
seem  worth  while?  I  think  they  cost  a  shilling  each.  And 
will  you  please  notice  what  London  papers  and  magazines 
print  most  verse,  and  send  me  their  addresses? 

I  lunch  at  the  Columbia  Club  nowadays,  and  the  dining 
room  is  outdoors  on  a  pavilion  now.  As  it  is  right  in  Gram- 
mercy  Park,  it  is  very  charming. 

Do  you  hear  much  of  Ezra  Pound's  work  in  England?  He 
is  a  young  American  poet  resident  in  London.  I  have  read 
his  two  books,  which  have  made  some  sensation  over  here. 

Mitchell  Kennerly  has  succeeded  Russell  Hertz  as  editor 
of  The  Forum.  Barrie  has  gone  to  the  country,  rejoicing  in 
what  he  called  a  delightful  letter  from  you.  Mr.  King  is  in 
Paris  now. 

We  are  going  to  Lake  George  in  August,  to  a  cottage  be 
longing  to  Mrs.  Spencer  Trask,  for  a  couple  of  weeks. 

Remember  me  to  George  the  Five.  Much  obliged  for 
the  paper  with  account  of  Ed's  funeral.  I  am  using  black 
ink  on  account  of  the  court  mourning. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


65 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


July  8,  1911 

DEAR  BRAT — I  will  not  apologise  for  using  red  ink,  as 
I  think  it  has  a  rather  decorative  effect.  Numerous  post 
cards  have  been  received  from  you  by  Puff,  Aline  and  myself, 
but  no  letter  for  the  past  eighteen  years.  You  have  not  yet 
stated  whether  or  not  you  approved  the  coronation.  Give 
my  love  to  Emily  Grigsby,  when  you  are  next  at  court.  That 
Grigsby  affair  is  absolutely  delightful.  I  have  seen  her  often 
in  New  York,  and  several  friends  of  mine  know  her  well. 
She  is  a  very  beautiful  and  brilliant  woman.  She  certainly 
has  fooled  the  respectable  people  concerned. 

Puff  has  been  wandering  about  during  the  recent  hot 
weather  clad  in  his  rompers,  with  no  other  garment.  He 
climbs  up  and  down  stairs  incessantly,  and  has  developed 
a  certain  faculty  for  narrative. 

My  book  is  progressing,  as  is  our  song.  One  of  your  post 
cards  to  Aline  said  that  you  had  made  a  tune  for  "Terre 
d' Amour."  I  am,  strange  to  relate,  interested  in  that  fact, 
and,  remarkably  enough,  would  be  glad  to  have  the  tune. 

Shaemas  has  brought  out  his  book,  which  is  very  good 
indeed.  I  think,  however,  that  in  form  mine  will  surpass  it. 
You  will,  of  course,  receive  a  special  advance  copy,  before 
the  others  are  made.  How  did  you  like  "Madness"?  The 
Digest  reprinted  it  this  week  from  Harper's  Weekly,  and  al 
though  you  have  a  copy  of  the  poem  already,  I  am  sending 
a  clipping  to  refresh  your  memory. 

By  the  way,  Aline  told  you  we  bought  a  lot  to  build  a 
house  on,  didn't  she?  It's  really  more  accessible  than  our 
apartment  was.  We  are  going  to  build  a  house  with  a  large 
fireplace  and  built-in  bookcases,  and  a  bright  red  room  for 
you! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


66 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


July  29,  1911 

DEAR  BRAT — I  think  I  have  told  you  eighteen  times  how 
much  I  liked  the  books  you  sent  me,  but  nevertheless  I  now 
again  inform  you  that  they  are  delightful.  Shane  Leslie  is 
one  of  the  most  brilliant  of  the  younger  Irish  writers,  and  as 
he  has  no  American  publisher,  his  books  are  difficult  to  procure 
over  here.  The  "Anthology  of  French  Verse"  is  one  I  have 
never  before  seen,  and  is,  I  think,  the  best  collection  of  the 
sort  that  I  know.  You  certainly  know  how  to  buy  books, 
my  good  infant. 

By  the  way,  how  did  you  like  the  birthday  poem  I  sent 
you?  And  I'm  going  to  give  you  another  birthday  present 
when  you  come  back,  and  so  is  Aline,  and  so  is  Puff.  And 
you'll  have  a  red  room  in  our  new  house!  I  am  reviewing 
books  for  the  New  York  Post.  They  have  printed  two,  and 
have  sent  me  three  more  novels  to  review  for  the  next  issue. 
Aline  is  delighted  with  the  prospect  of  receiving  a  sun-dial. 
We  have  wanted  one  very  much.  We  shall  probably  put  it 
on  a  post  in  the  front  yard,  or  fasten  it  to  a  great  boulder  that 
is  already  there. 

Mr.  Guy's  poem  got  through  the  Customs  House  all  right, 
and  was  received  by  us.  Reverencing  the  Cloth  as  I  do,  I 
refuse  to  repeat  Puff's  comments  on  Mr.  Guy  as  a  poet.  The 
mug,  however,  was  admirable.  He  has  two  coronation  mugs 
now,  both  china,  one  from  you  and  one  from  Mr.  Guy.  He  de 
mands  a  third,  which  shall  be  of  enamelled  tin,  unbreakable. 

I  miss  our  Thursday  luncheons  very  much,  and  have  found 
numerous  delightful  places  where  we  will  eat  on  your  return. 
Also  there  is  an  opera  coming  to  New  York  next  winter,  to 
which  you  are  to  be  taken — Richard  Strauss's  "Rosenkavalier." 

I  am  glad  you  saw  the  Coronation  Procession,  though  I 
imagine  you're  fearfully  sick  of  the  affair  by  now. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  enjoy  yourself. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

67 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


New  Brunswick,  N.  J.,  1911 

DEAR  BRAT — It's  about  time  you  wrote  me  a  letter!  I 
don't  know  yet  whether  or  not  you  received  your  birthday 
poem.  I  am  enclosing  a  clipping  from  The  Pathfinder.  I 
think  you  have  seen  the  poem  before.  It  refers  to  Arthur 
Symons,  the  great  English  poet,  who  is  paralysed.  He  is 
only  forty-five  years  old. 

I  read  recently  in  a  New  Brunswick  paper  a  brilliantly 
written  letter  from  you.  It  is,  I  think,  the  most  interesting 
piece  of  coronation  literature  I  have  read.  You  are  certainly 
to  be  congratulated.  I  liked  the  simple  and  direct  way  in 
which  you  treated  so  elaborate  and  complicated  a  spectacle. 
It  was  a  difficult  thing  to  do,  and  you  did  it  admirably. 

Kenton  and  I  took  a  walk  over  the  Landing  Bridge  today. 
He  has  a  large  vocabulary,  a  fondness  for  narrative,  vivid 
humour,  and  violent  curiosity. 

I  was  very  glad  recently  to  receive  several  books  from  you. 
"The  Skipper's  Wooing"  is,  I  think,  the  best  book  of  Jacob's 
that  I  have  read.  I  had  for  a  long  time  desired  to  read  Du 
mas'  "Black  Tulip,"  and  I  found  it  charming.  Conan  Doyle 
is  a  comfortable  old-fashioned  sort  of  a  writer,  and  I  spent  a 
very  pleasant  hour  over  the  "Firm  of  Girdlestone."  The 
Snaith  book  I  have  not  yet  read.  Aline  found  it  a  most  attrac 
tive  romance,  and  so  undoubtedly  shall  I. 

I  have  been  doing  some  reviewing  recently  for  the  Nation, 
a  critical  weekly,  published  in  New  York,  somewhat  resembling 
the  English  magazine  of  the  same  name. 

Do  you  like  King  George  as  well  as  you  did  Edward  VII? 
He  is  apparently  a  less  interesting  character. 

Soon  I  will  send  you  your  specially  bound  advance  copy 
of  "Summer  of  Love."  The  small  circular  advertising  it  will 
be  out  soon,  and  mailed  to  the  names  on  the  list.  I  will  also 
send  you  a  number  of  the  circulars  to  distribute  from  house 
to  house  and  to  paste  on  telegraph  poles  in  London  and  York. 

68 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


There  is  a  possibility  that  in  your  room  at  Cragmere  there 
will  be  a  stationary  wash-basin  with  hot  and  cold  water  I 
Would  you  like  that?  There  are  to  be  built-in  bookcases, 
two  open  fireplaces,  a  dining  porch  and  a  sleeping  porch. 
There  is  a  spring  on  the  grounds,  and  there  are  mountains 
all  around.  In  fact,  the  house  is  to  be  built  on  a  mountain 
side.  Its  name  is  to  be  Nine  Bean  Rows,  after  the  poem  by 
William  Butler  Yeats,  called  "The  Lake  Isle  of  Inisfree," 
which  contains  the  lines: 

I  will  arise  and  go  now,  and  go  to  Inisfree 
And  a  small  cabin  build  there,  of  clay  and  wattles  made. 
Nine  bean-rows  will  I  have  there,  and  a  hive  for  the  honey-bee, 
And  live  alone  in  the  bee-loved  glade. 

You  are  an  excellent  infant,  and  write  very  good  letters, 
but  you  write  them  with  annoying  infrequency. 

Enjoy  yourself,  my  child,  and  bring  back  a  large  appetite 
and  thirst  for  your  Thursday  luncheons. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


69 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


May  21,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — Hey,  write  a  letter  sometime!  We  expect 
to  move  Monday  to  Cragmere,  Mahwah,  New  Jersey.  The 
house  isn't  finished,  but  we  think  that  one  room  will  be  ready 
for  occupation  by  that  time. 

My  father  is  sending  you  a  copy  of  The  International, 
containing  "The  Ballad  of  the  Brave  Wanton."  I  enclose 
copies  of  some  poems  which  I  think  you  have  not  seen. 

My  father,  Aline  and  Kenton  are  in  good  health.  So  is 
Rosamonde. 

I  hope  you  are  having  a  good  time  in  England.  When  do 
you  go  to  Ireland? 

See  as  many  pageants  as  possible.  I've  been  reviewing 
the  books  of  some  American  pageants  recently  for  the  Times. 
I  will  send  you  copies  of  the  paper  containing  them. 

Aline,  Kenton  and  Rosamonde  send  love. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


70 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Mahwah,  New  Jersey,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — Thank  you  very  much  for  the  pipe!  I  have 
always  wanted  a  carved  meerschaum,  and  this  is  beautifully 
made.  It  is  beginning  to  colour  already.  A  part  of  the  ele 
phant's  trunk  is  turning  yellow.  Eventually  the  whole  pipe 
will  be  black,  except  the  tusks,  which,  being  made  of  ivory, 
will  remain  white.  You  could  not  have  made  a  better  selec 
tion. 

Aline  likes  her  plaques  very  much,  and  will  write  to  you 
soon  about  them. 

Last  night  we  went  to  a  dance  at  the  home  of  some  friends 
of  ours.  We  can  one-step  and  grape-vine.  Aline  grape 
vines  very  well.  When  you  come  back  I  will  teach  you  the 
new  dances,  unless  you  learn  them  while  abroad. 

The  mountains  about  here  are  very  interesting.  Recently 
I  climbed  two  of  them  with  my  friend  Richardson  Wright, 
who  was  visiting  me.  We  found  on  Mt.  Houvenkopf  an  old 
artist  and  his  wife,  the  only  white  people  for  many  miles. 
The  natives  live  in  log  cabins  and  are  called  Jackson  Whites. 
They  are  usually  cream-coloured,  but  some  of  them  are  black 
and  some  are  copper-coloured.  They  are  of  mixed  Negro, 
Indian,  German,  Dutch  and  Scotch  descent,  their  names  being 
chiefly  Dutch — Van  Dick,  De  Grote  and  the  like.  They  are 
very  amusing  people.  There  is  a  fine  view  from  the  moun 
tains,  and  the  valley  between  them  is  full  of  wild  honeysuckle. 
You  must  climb  these  mountains  this  autumn. 

Several  postcards  and  an  entertaining  letter  have  come 
from  you  from  Oxford — no  one  knew  you  were  at  Oxford. 
The  postcards  mentioned  one  "Arthur,"  your  companion  in 
much  riot.  We  puzzled  over  Arthur  for  days.  Finally  your 
letter  came  and  Arthur  Devan  was  revealed. 

Enjoy  yourself,  and  occasionally  receive  a  letter!     I  write 

about  twice  a  week. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

71 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


June  25,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — The  sending  of  cables  is  a  wearing  occupa 
tion,  and  I  think  that  the  one  I  sent  you  yesterday  is  worth 
10,000,000  letters. 

Your  two  recent  letters  were  very  amusing,  particularly 
the  description  of  the  picture  of  the  automobile  at  the  New 
Brunswick  Boost  Week  Celebration. 

We  are  living  in  Mahwah  now.  The  floor  and  woodwork 
are  not  yet  stained,  and  there  is  no  electric  light  as  yet,  but 
otherwise  we  are  very  comfortable. 

I  am  glad  you  liked  "Martin"  and  "Pennies."  The  former 
did  not  allude  to  Martin  Chuzzlewit  or  any  other  Dickens 
character;  it  was  founded  on  an  old  man  named  Baldwin  who 
used  to  work  here. 

I  will  be  glad  to  have  you  market  the  poems  in  England, 
but  this  must  be  done  after  they  have  been  printed  over  here. 
Otherwise  the  American  rights  are  destroyed.  I  will  tell  you 
when  to  send  them  out. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


72 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


June  27,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — Perhaps  you  would  get  my  letters  more 
surely  and  promptly  if  you  gave  me  a  complete  itinerary, 
stating  your  whereabouts  for  this  summer  and  autumn. 
Of  course  your  letters  state  where  you  are,  but  you  flit  about 
considerably. 

We  are  pretty  comfortable  in  our  house  now.  It  is  all 
finished  except  painting  and  staining.  I  went  fishing  Sunday 
and  caught  a  large  fat  perch. 

What  do  you  think  of  Roosevelt  now? 

The  poems  mentioned  cannot  be  sold  to  English  magazines 
until  they  have  appeared  in  American  magazines.  The  fact 
that  you  sent  "Pennies"  to  The  Spectator  is  all  right,  but  don't 
send  any  more  out  until  I  notify  you  that  they  have  appeared 
over  here.  One  of  them,  "A  Blackbird  and  his  Mate,"  will 
probably  be  ready  in  a  few  weeks,  and  I'll  send  you  a  copy 
to  send  out. 

Send  me  an  Eye  Witness,  please.  Send  Kenton  a  Dublin 
Review,  please.  Send  Aline  a  box  of  tobacco,  please.  Send 
Bosamonde  a  stick,  please,  as  she  hopes  to  learn  to  walk. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


73 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Cragmere,  Mahwah,  New  Jersey,  July  3,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — Perhaps  if  you  send  me  an  itinerary,  and 
I  send  letters  to  you  direct,  you  will  get  them  more  surely. 

Tomorrow  is  Fourth  of  July.  Mac  and  James  Gray  and 
I  are  going  fishing  to  Round  Lake,  about  twelve  miles  from 
here.  We  will  take  a  train. 

I  enclose  some  verses.  I  will  send  you  soon  two  copies  of 
The  International,  One  containing  a  poem  of  mine,  "The 
Ballad  of  the  Brave  Wanton,"  and  the  other  containing  a  letter 
of  mine  in  answer  to  Leonard  Abbott's  "Renaissance  of 
Paganism." 

When  you  get  a  chance  please  send  me  some  copies  of 
The  Eye  Witness,  The  Dublin  Review,  The  Spectator,  The 
Academy,  The  Church  Times  and  The  Atheneum. 

Puff  got  stung  on  the  mouth  by  a  bee,  but  is  otherwise  in 
good  health.  He  sends  his  love,  and  wants  wooden  shoes  and 
a  pipe.  Aline  and  Rosamonde  also  send  love.  They  want 
wooden  shoes  and  a  pipe. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


74 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


July  11,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — I  received  a  very  amusing  letter  from  you 
recently,  and  a  copy  of  The  Spectator.  Thank  you.  I  hope 
to  receive  more  copies  of  The  Spectator,  also  of  The  Eye  Witness, 
The  New  Age,  The  Dublin  Review,  The  Academy,  The  Atheneum 
and  The  Church  Times. 

I  sent  you  today  two  copies  of  The  International,  one  of 
them  containing  "The  Ballad  of  the  Brave  Wanton,"  I  think 
you  received  before,  but  I  thought  you  might  like  to  have 
this  copy  because  it  contains  an  article  by  Leonard  Abbott  on 
"The  Renaissance  of  Paganism,"  which  is  answered  by  me  in 
the  July  issue  in  an  article  entitled  "The  Renaissance  of  Your 
Grandmother." 

Last  week  I  had  my  tonsils  and  adenoids  removed.  I  took 
ether,  so  it  was  not  painful.  I  went  to  a  very  nice  private 
hospital  near  Columbus  Circle. 

The  postcard  of  the  Wheat  Sheaf  Inn  landlord  (I  think 
it  was  the  Wheatsheaf  Inn)  and  the  figure  from  the  ship  are 
very  amusing. 

By  all  means  read  Chesterton's  latest  novel,  "Manalive." 
I  am  reviewing  it.  It  is  a  very  delightful  book.  You  re 
member  those  essays  of  Chesterton  that  I  got  you  recently, 
don't  you? 

Before  long  it  will  be  your  birthday.  Behave  yourself, 
and  you  may  get  a  nice  present. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


75 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


July  23,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — The  music  has  arrived.  I  think  the  printers 
did  excellent  work.  I  am  very  proud  to  have  my  verses  ap 
pear  with  such  charming  music. 

You  are  supposed  to  be  getting  some  birthday  verses,  but 
they  will  probably  not  arrive  until  after  your  birthday.  I  am 
going  to  share  in  the  birthday  present  you  get  in  England,  and 
then  when  you  land  you  will  get  three  new  birthday  presents, 
one  from  me,  one  from  Aline,  and  one  from  Kenton.  Rosa- 
monde  is  saving  her  money  to  meet  the  expense  of  being  born. 

Gray  says  by  all  means  to  go  to  Amplforth  Abbey,  which 
is  a  monastery  near  Coxwold.  Several  of  the  monks  there 
are  friends  of  his,  particularly  B.  Parker.  Gray  is  one  of  the 
editors  here,  whom  you  met.  He  is  a  Yorkshireman. 

I  hope  you  enjoyed  the  Scarborough  pageant.  The  post 
cards  show  that  you  stopped  in  an  attractive  appearing  hotel. 
By  all  means  drink  sherry-cobblers  with  mint  crushed  in 
them  in  hot  weather,  and  mulled  port  in  cold  weather. 

I  thank  you  for  a  large  number  of  Spectators  and  one  Eye 
Witness  recently  received.  Don't  you  find  the  Eye  Witness 
a  delightful  weekly?  Read  Chesterton's  "Manalive";  it's 
very  good.  I  hope  you  enjoy  your  birthday.  Many  happy 
returns  of  the  day!  You'll  get  some  birthday  verses  soon. 

Aline,  Kenton  and  Rosamonde  send  love. 

Affectionately,  JOYCE. 


76 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Aug.  9,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — Thank  you  for  numerous  excellent  gifts — 
the  pipe,  which  is  a  very  fine  briar,  of  the  sort  in  which  I 
especially  delight,  the  "Pepy's  Diary,"  which  I  have  wanted  to 
read  for  a  long  time,  and  the  Eye  Witnesses,  Spectators,  and 
a  Dublin  Review.  I  hope  you  got  your  birthday  verses  and 
that  you  liked  them.  Your  birthday  present  you  will  receive 
on  your  return.  Rosamonde  wishes  her  poem  at  once! 

Kenton  has  been  somewhat  ill,  but  has  recovered.  He 
wants  a  book.  I  enclose  some  verses  which  may  interest  you. 
My  father  is  going  abroad  about  August  20th,  and  has  invited 
us  to  stay  in  New  Brunswick  during  his  absence.  I  do  not 
know  whether  I  can  or  not.  I  don't  want  to  leave  my  house 
unoccupied. 

The  book  of  the  Scarborough  pageant  was  very  interesting. 
Scarborough  must  be  an  amusing  place.  Did  you  go  in  swim 
ming? 

Why  do  you  call  the  Eye  Witness  radical?  It  opposes  the 
Insurance  Act,  and  curses  Lloyd  George. 

I  am  sending  you  a  copy  of  the  Heptalogia  for  the  priest 
who  wanted  it,  if  you  can  remember  which  he  was.  It  is  the 
last  copy  on  sale,  as  this  edition  is  out  of  print.  Give  it  to 
him,  with  my  compliments,  and  tell  him  that  American  pub 
lishers  and  booksellers  never  take  money  from  the  clergy. 
I  recommend  you  to  read  it,  particularly  "Disgust"  and  "The 
Person  of  the  House."  They  are  not  at  all  proper  reading 
for  the  British  clergy!  What  have  you  been  teaching  the 
unsuspecting  old  person?  Tell  him  to  send  me  a  copy  of  the 
Oxford  and  Cambridge  Review  and  The  Church  Times,  other 
wise  known  as  the  Sunday  Punch.  By  the  way,  the  summer 
number  of  Punch  which  you  sent  me  was  very  good. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


77 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Cragmere,  Mahwah,  N.  J.,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — I  hope  this  letter  reaches  you — you  are 
wandering  about  Germany,  I  suppose,  and  I  feel  a  provincial 
distrust  in  the  postal  authorities  of  the  Continent  of  Europe. 
I  am  writing  regularly  for  the  Book  Review  Section  of  the 
Times  now,  a  long  article  every  week.  A  week  from  tomorrow 
I  leave  my  present  job  to  become  one  of  the  editors  of  The 
Churchman.  This  may  strike  you  as  somewhat  humourous. 
It  is,  perhaps,  not  without  its  amusing  aspects. 

I  thank  you  for  the  various  weeklies,  which  arrive  regularly. 
I  enjoy  particularly  The  Eye  Witness,  which  is,  I  think,  a  very 
brilliant  publication.  I  told  you  how  much  I  appreciated 
"Pepy's  Diary."  I  received  a  copy  of  "Gifts  of  Shee,"  and  was 
much  pleased  with  its  appearance.  I  certainly  have  cause 
to  be  grateful  for  your  musical  gifts.  Thank  my  father,  to 
whom  I  will  write  soon,  for  the  two  papers  he  sent  me.  Your 
latest  letter  (like  most  of  them)  was  very  amusing.  The  de 
scription  of  the  bored  youth  with  the  wrist-watch  was  par 
ticularly  entertaining. 

I  will  write  you  a  longer  letter  soon,  but  it's  well  into 
Monday  morning  now,  and  I  must  get  up  at  six. 

With  love  from  Aline,  Kenton  and  Rosamonde,  and  to 
my  father,  I  am, 

Affectionately  yours,  JOYCE. 


78 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Sept.  21,  1912 

DEAR  BRAT — Monday  I  start  work  on  The  Churchman, 
at  434  Lafayette  St.  The  present  manager  of  that  paper  was 
an  instructor  in  English  at  Columbia  when  I  was  a  student 
there,  and  he  was  manager  of  the  Baker  &  Taylor  Co.  when 
they  published  my  book.  I  am  keeping  up  my  articles  in 
the  Times  and  The  Digest,  and  probably  my  Current  Litera 
ture  work. 

I  am  looking  forward  eagerly  to  the  renewal  of  our  Thurs 
day  luncheons.  My  new  office  is  not  far  from  the  St.  Denis, 
so  perhaps  we  shall  make  that  the  place  for  our  meetings.  It 
is  a  very  good  restaurant,  as  you  probably  remember. 

Aline  is  much  pleased  with  the  jewelry  you  sent  her,  and 
will  write  to  thank  you  soon.  She  will  forward  to  Mrs.  Alden 
and  Constance  the  gifts  you  bought  for  them.  They  will  be 
very  glad  to  get  them. 

I  am  enjoying  the  magazines  which  you  are  sending,  and 
I  am  looking  forward  to  seeing  you  soon.  Rosamonde,  Aline 
and  Kenton  send  love,  as  I  do,  to  you  and  to  my  father. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


January  23,  1913 

DEAR  BRAT — I  enclose  card  for  the  first  of  the  Authors' 
Club  receptions.  It  takes  place,  you  see,  on  the  afternoon 
of  the  day  of  the  Dickens  Fellowship  Dinner. 

The  Poetry  Society  Dinner  is  next  Wednesday.  Tell  me 
what  colour  gown  you  are  wearing,  so  I  can  order  especially 
good  flowers. 

Be  a  good  child  and  I'll  buy  you  some  wax  vestas. 

My  story  in  this  Sunday's  paper  is  about  a  typewriter- 
telegraph.  I  have  a  poem  on  the  same  page. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 
79 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Mahwah,  N.  J.,  May  4,  1913 

DEAR  BRAT — Thanks  for  the  letters  received  recently, 
written  on  the  boat. 

We  went  to  a  dance  last  night,  and  expect  to  go  to  another 
next  Saturday.  Rose  is  gaining  steadily  and  becoming  very 
good  looking.  There  was  a  suffrage  parade  yesterday  in  New 
York,  but  we  didn't  let  her  go  to  it. 

I  enclose  some  verses  which  you  have  not  seen.  "Servant 
Girl  and  Grocer's  Boy"  is  to  appear  in  the  Smart  Set,  and 
"Trees"  will  probably  appear  in  a  magazine  called  Poetry. 

It  is  very  nice  out  here  in  the  spring — there  are  large 
numbers  of  violets,  ranging  in  color  from  deep  blue  almost  to 
red,  and  some  of  them  are  striped  light  blue  and  white,  also 
there  is  an  admirable  dog-wood  tree  near  the  house,  and  we 
have  planted  several  vines. 

Later  I  am  going  to  send  you  some  manuscripts  and  ask 
you  to  try  to  sell  them  for  me. 

How  are  you  getting  along  with  the  music  you  were  to 
have  published?  I  am  looking  forward  to  receiving  copies. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


80 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 


1913 

DEAR  BRAT — As  I  write  I  smoke  some  of  the  admirable 
tobacco  you  sent  me.  The  pouch  is  very  nice.  The  meer 
schaum  pipe  has  turned  a  beautiful  brown  and  will  soon  be 
black — all  except  the  tusks,  which,  being  of  ivory,  do  not  colour. 

The  small  photograph  of  you  that  accompanied  the 
tobacco  is  amusing.  The  pictures  with  your  godchildren  were 
certainly  excellent. 

We  are  putting  down  a  sand  walk  in  front  of  our  house, 
and  we  hope  to  put  grass  seed  in  soon. 

I  will  send  you  copies  of  the  Smart  Set,  the  Catholic  World 
and  The  Bellman  containing  some  new  verse  of  mine.  Do  you 
think  you'll  get  a  birthday  present?  Rose  says  you  will,  but 
she  hasn't  any  sense.  I  was  interested  in  the  clipping  you 
sent  me  in  which  my  article  was  quoted  from  the  Times  Book 
Review,  and  I  am  enjoying  the  English  magazines  very  much. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


81 


EMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1913 

DEAR  BRAT — It's  time  I  heard  from  you!  Next  week 
I  am  to  lecture  on  Nicholas  Nickleby  before  the  Dickens 
Fellowship.  Isn't  that  absurd?  I  may  be  president  of  it 
next  year. 

You  said  that  you  had  forgotten  the  "Suicide"  poem  I  sold 
to  the  Smart  Set,  so  I  send  you  herewith  a  manuscript  copy. 
Kindly  read  it  to  eight  vicars,  two  bishops  and  a  cardinal. 
It  will  do  them  good,  for  it  is  a  highly  orthodox  poem.  I  will 
send  you  a  copy  of  the  Smart  Set  for  June  containing  it,  and 
also  a  copy  of  the  May  Catholic  World  containing  "Stars." 

By  all  means  see  "The  Hour  and  the  Woman"  at  the 
Cosmopolis  Theatre,  Holborn,  if  it  is  given  while  you  are  in 
London.  I  suppose  my  father  supplies  you  with  copies  of 
the  Times  Book  Review,  and  it  is  probable  that  you  can  live 
without  reading  The  Churchman. 

Tell  your  clerical  court  that  America  is  widely  excited 
over  the  proposal  to  change  the  church  name  from  "Protestant 
Episcopal"  to  "American  Catholic."  This  question  is  to  be 
decided  at  the  Convention  this  summer,  but  undoubtedly  the 
old  name^will  be  retained.  The  Convention  is  to  be  held  in 
New  York  this  year,  you  know,  and  I  will  probably  attend 
some  of  the  sessions. 

I  hope  you  had  a  pleasant  trip  and  that  you  made  the 
acquaintance  of  the  Pages.  I  was  not  sure  of  their  identity 
until  I  was  on  the  dock.  I  think  you  met  her  at  one  of  the 
Authors'  Club  teas  during  the  past  winter. 

Eat  plenty  of  large  strawberries  with  thick  cream  and  drink 
Whitbread's  ale. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


82 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Mahwah,  N.  J.,  1913 

DEAR  BRAT — It  was  very  pleasant  to  receive  the  magazines, 
which  have  come  in  accordance  wTith  my  request.  I  was  par 
ticularly  glad  to  receive  the  copies  of  The  British  Review, 
which  is  a  magazine  I  admire  very  much.  The  Suffragette 
came  also,  with  the  pin  still  fastened  upon  it. 

I  hope  you  enjoy  your  visit  to  London.  You  were  wise 
to  go  there,  I  think.  It  seems  absurd  to  visit  England  and 
spend  no  time  in  London. 

I  have  a  new  job.  I  am  working  for  the  magazine  section 
(not  the  book  review)  of  the  New  York  Times.  For  some 
months,  you  know,  I  have  been  dependent  on  book  reviews 
and  verse  for  a  living. 

Aline  and  I  are  delighted  with  the  beautiful  buckle  you 
sent  her.  She  is  writing  to  thank  you  and  to  describe  the 
Board  of  Health  dinner  in  New  Brunswick,  which  would  have 
entertained  you  very  much. 

I  sent  you  a  copy  of  The  Catholic  World  containing  "Stars" 
and  a  copy  of  The  Churchman  containing  a  "Memorial  Day" 
poem.  If  you  have  not  received  them,  tell  me  and  I'll  send 
you  other  copies. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


83 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1913 

DEAR  BRAT — I  suppose  by  this  time  my  father  is  with 
you.  I  am  sending  you  two  copies  of  the  Times  Book  Review 
containing  some  special  articles  which  I  wrote.  I  will  be 
glad  when  the  dictionary  work  is  over,  so  that  I  can  devote 
more  time  to  the  pleasanter  and  more  profitable  occupation 
of  writing. 

Did  you  receive  the  Heptalogia? 

The  house  looks  pretty  well  now.  I  dug  a  blind  drain  to 
keep  surface  water  from  running  into  the  cellar. 

I  am  enjoying  "Pepy's  Diary."  I  had  always  wanted  to 
read  it.  I  have  said  this  in  two  previous  letters,  but  your 
letter  recently  received  asks  me  if  I  got  the  book. 

I  hope  you  enjoyed  Fr.  Parker's  call.     Gray  doesn't  know 
him,  but  he  knew  his  brother.     Rosamonde  enjoyed  her  poem, 
and  should  write  and  say  so.     As  for  the  Yorkshire  Herald, 
probably  your  conscience  has  by  this  time  punished  you 
sufficiently.     It's  all  right,  absurd  infant! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


84 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Sept.  21,  1913 

DEAR  BRAT — Heaven  knows  where  you  are  now — pre 
sumably  in  Italy. 

Be  sure  to  let  me  know  by  what  boat  you  are  sailing,  at 
what  time  and  from  what  port!  If  in  Italy  you  happen  to 
see  a  good  wall  crucifix  of  iron,  brass  or  bronze — not  of  wood — 
I'd  like  very  much  to  have  it. 

I  have  in  this  Sunday's  Times  Book  Review  a  poem  in 
memory  of  Mme.  Faure,  who  died  last  month.  She  wrote 
over  the  name  of  "Pierre  de  Coulevain."  I  think  you  read 
her  novel,  "Sur  La  Branche"  ("On  the  Branch").  She  was 
an  old  maid  who  travelled  alone  all  over  Europe,  living  in 
hotels  and  writing  novels  about  the  people  she  saw.  The  title 
"On  the  Branch"  refers  to  her  mode  of  life,  her  flitting  from 
hotel  to  hotel.  I  am  sending  you  a  copy  of  the  paper  contain 
ing  the  poem,  but  since  papers  are  delivered  less  surely  than 
letters,  I  am  sending  also  a  manuscript  copy. 

I  expect  to  bring  out  another  volume  of  verse  this  No 
vember.  The  book  is  to  be  dedicated  to — to  whom  do  you 
suppose?  Why,  to  you  if  you  are  a  good  child!  Think  of 
that! 

Did  you  see  my  poem  called  "To  Certain  Poets"  in  the 
October  Smart  Set?  The  Smart  Set  is  published  in  England 
as  well  as  America,  I  believe.  I  sent  you  a  copy  of  The 
Bellman,  containing  "St.  Alexis,"  but  I  have  not  seen  mention 
of  it  in  your  letters. 

The  Home  News  ran  your  letter  with  these  head-lines: 
"Mrs.  F.  B.  Kilmer  Has  Success  with  Her  New  Songs.  Nearly 
all  the  Edition  of  'Before  the  Fair'  Sold — Likes  London — 
Asks  Policeman  Where  to  Get  Hairpins.  Is  the  Guest  of 
Noted  People." 

It  is  a  very  good  letter.  I  have  cut  it  out  and  saved  it 
for  you.  Well,  enjoy  yourself. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

85 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1913 

DEAR  BRAT — I  hope  this  reaches  you  when  you  land.  I 
have  just  finished  writing  a  review  of  Alfred  Noyes'  "Tales 
of  the  Mermaid  Tavern."  It  is  an  admirable  book;  you  must 
read  it.  Aline  has  sold  two  poems  to  Harper's  Weekly,  and 
I  have  sold  "Stars"  to  The  Catholic  World.  I'll  send  you  a 
copy  when  it  is  printed,  which  will  be  during  the  present 
month.  I  hope  you  enjoyed  your  trip  and  made  the  ac 
quaintance  of  the  Pages,  for  I  am  now  sure  it  was  they.  We 
did  not  recognise  them,  however,  until  we  left  the  boat. 

My  father  is  coming  out  for  a  week-end  soon.  I  hope  that 
by  the  time  you  get  back  you  will  find  vines  growing  about 
our  house.  We  are  going  to  plant  some  soon. 

I  am  getting  a  higher  rate  of  pay  from  the  Times  now, 
which  helps  considerably. 

Be  a  good  brat,  and  buy  yourself  two  reception  gowns. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


86 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


April  20,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — Today  the  elevator  starter  (you  always  call 
him  the  "porter")  in  the  Times  Building  said  to  me,  "you 
ought  to  get  a  cable  from  your  mother  soon."  And  tonight 
my  father  telephoned  that  you  had  landed. 

Now  I  should  say  "not  a  word  from  you  yet!"  and  lament 
that  you  didn't  send  me  a  letter  by  the  pilot.  I  hope  you  had 
a  comfortable  trip. 

There  is  soon  to  be,  it  seems,  a  war  with  Mexico.  Prob 
ably  it  will  be  declared  tonight.  Mr.  Ihlseng — you  remember 
his  wife,  who  is  very  active  in  the  Dickens  Fellowship — is  in 
Mexico,  and  Mrs.  Ihlseng  is  very  much  worried  about  him. 
The  war  will  be  over  in  a  month  or  so,  but  there  will  be  fight 
ing  with  the  bandits  in  the  hills  for  years,  just  as  there  is  still 
in  the  Philippine  Islands. 

You  have  bought,  I  suppose,  the  May  Smart  Set  with  my 
poem  "Delicatessen."  I  will  send  you  the  May  Smart  Styles, 
which  contains  my  essay  on  alarm-clocks — it  is  called  "The 
Wiban  Chanticleer." 

Eat  English  mustard  on  roast  beef,  and  lemon  juice  on 
chops.  Drink  a  mixture  of  white  creme  de  menthe  and  brandy 
before  meals,  since  English  cocktails  are  bad. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


87 


MEMORIES       OF      MY       SON 


April  30,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — Finally  I  got  a  letter  from  you;  this  morn 
ing,  in  fact.  I'm  sorry  you  had  a  dull  voyage,  but  I  know 
you'll  make  up  for  it  rapidly.  I  hope  you  enjoy  the  Dickens 
Pageant,  or  whatever  it  is  that  you  are  attending  as  repre 
sentative  of  the  Dickens  Fellowship  of  New  York. 

I  will  send  you  a  copy  of  Smart  Styles  containing  my  essay 
on  alarm-clocks.  I  suppose  you  have  read  the  Smart  Set 
with  my  poem  "Delicatessen." 

In  London  there  is  a  paper  called  The  Standard.  In  a 
recent  issue  it  contained  an  article  about  my  translation  of  the 
new-found  stanzas  of  "The  Rubaiyat,"  which  appeared  in 
the  copy  of  the  Times  that  I  gave  you  when  you  sailed. 
But  the  author  of  the  article  called  me  Miss  Joyce  Kilmer, 
and  spoke  of  the  Evening  Times. 

The  Dickens  Fellowship  gives  an  entertainment  at  the 
Waldorf  Saturday.  Tom  Ferris,  an  English  actor,  is  to  do 
Dickens  impersonations.  Next  year  we'll  give  a  play  every 
month,  and  you  will  be  Mrs.  Nickleby  and  anything  else  you 
like! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


88 


JOYCE  KILMER  AND  His  MOTHER  ON  RETURN  TRIP  FROM 
ENGLAND,  1914 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 


May  27,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  got  a  very  nice  letter  from  you  today.  I 
am  glad  you  are  enjoying  the  Dickens  Fellowship  business. 
The  picture  illustrating  my  poem  "Trees"  is  not  the  drawing 
which  appeared  in  a  magazine  called  Scouting,  which  reprinted 
the  poem,  but  a  photograph  mounted  on  a  grey  cardboard 
panel,  with  the  poem  lettered  underneath. 

I  have  written  a  one-act  play  called  "Some  Mischief  Still." 
tt  is  a  satire  on  Feminism,  and  will  appear  in  the  Smart  Set. 
tt  may  be  produced  in  vaudeville,  if  I  have  good  luck. 

Sir  Arthur  Conan  Doyle  is  now  in  New  York  for  a  brief 
itay.  I  expect  to  interview  him  soon. 

Did  Montagu  come  to  see  you  yet?  I  gave  him  your  ad- 
Iress,  and  he  said  he  wanted  to  call  on  you. 

Don't  eat  vegetable  marrow;  it's  a  foolish  vegetable. 
5at  English  mustard  on  roast  beef.  In  hot  weather,  take 
i  tall  glass,  put  in  two  fingers  of  Gordon  gin,  one  finger  of 
ime  juice,  plenty  of  cracked  ice  and  fill  with  lemon-soda.  Let 
t  get  very  cold  and  you  will  find  it  an  excellent  drink.  And 
ion't  put  sugar  and  water  in  your  claret,  unless  it's  very  bad. 
yVhite  mint  and  brandy  shaken  up  together  with  cracked  ice 
nake  a  good  substitute  for  a  cocktail. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


89 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


May  30,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  don't  owe  you  a  letter,  but  nevertheless 
I  write.  I  have  received  several  copies  of  London  newspapers 
from  you,  which  were  very  interesting.  Much  obliged. 

We  are  making  quite  a  garden  out  at  Mahwah,  or  rather, 
Aline  is.  I  am  too  busy  to  be  able  to  do  much  about  it. 

What  was  the  name  of  the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway 
Company's  boat  we  sailed  on  once?  Of  course,  you  have 
read  of  the  Canadian  Pacific  boat  that  sank  in  the  St.  Lawrence. 

Conan  Doyle  is  over  here  now.  I  did  not  interview  him 
for  the  Times,  because  I  was  busy  interviewing  Justin 
Huntley  McCarthy  (who  wrote  "If  I  Were  King")  and  a 
Hungarian  named  Dr.  Farkashozy. 

Kenton  enjoys  his  map  of  England  tremendously,  and  can 
put  it  together  as  well  as  I  can,  or  better.  He  is  planning  an 
early  visit  to  the  Circus. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


90 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


June  6,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  hope  you  enjoyed  the  Dickens  Convention. 
We  will  probably  have  a  show  next  year,  something  like  the 
trial  of,  whatever  his  name  was,  for  the  murder  of  Edwin 
Drood,  that  they  had  in  London  and  in  Philadelphia  last  year, 
only  we'll  have  Dickens  himself  as  defendant,  try  him  for 
being  a  back-number  or  a  sentimentalist  or  something  of  the 
sort.  What  do  you  think  of  the  idea?  By  the  way,  if  you 
can  get  a  full  account  of  the  trial  that  the  London  Dickens 
Fellowship  had,  I'll  be  much  obliged. 

My  version  of  the  new  quatrains  of  Omar  Khayyam,  which 
was  in  the  copy  of  the  Times  I  gave  you  when  you  sailed,  is 
being  used  in  some  way  in  connection  with  the  play  "Omar 
the  Tentmaker,"  now  running  in  San  Francisco.  If  it  comes 
back  to  New  York  in  the  autumn,  we'll  go  to  see  it — perhaps 
we'll  have  a  box  given  us. 

I  suppose  by  now  you  have  received  Aline's  letter  saying 
how  much  she  liked  her  excellent  sash.  It  is  certainly  a  beau 
tiful  thing.  I  am  smoking  my  pipe  and  find  it  very  good 
indeed.  x\lso  young  Kenton  enjoys  his  map. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


June  11,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — This  morning  I  received  the  book  "Dickens 
Land"  and  two  copies  of  the  Rochester  Dickens  Fellowship 
magazine.  Thank  you.  I  am  glad  to  see  that  you  sang, 
especially  that  you  sang  "The  Yellow  Gown,"  which  is,  I 
think,  your  best  song.  But  they  are  all  good. 

Bose  is  in  good  health,  having  recovered  from  a  slight 
poison-ivy. 

What  do  you  think  you'll  get  for  a  birthday  present? 

I  enclose  a  sonnet  that  I  have  not  yet  sold.  Houvenkopf 
is  a  mountain.  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

91 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


June  23,;51914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  suppose  you  are  enjoying  Yorkshire  now. 
Thank  you  for  the  Yorkshire  papers  recently  received. 

We  were,  of  course,  much  exercised  about  the  robbery, 
and  glad  that  you  recovered  your  property.  Your  story  of 
the  affair  was  most  graphic  and  entertaining;  I  enjoyed  it 
tremendously,  but  I  confess  that  I  am  somewhat  bewildered. 
This,  at  least,  is  clear — a  villainous  Spanish  girl  had  designs 
on  a  virtuous  chief  of  police,  and  you  rescued  him  by  sitting 
up  in  bed  and  singing  "Terre  d' Amour,"  in  a  red  kimono  and 
boudoir  cap.  Then  Scotland  Yard  was  notified  and  Dr. 
Watson  came  with  Sherlock  Holmes  and  said  that  they  would 
take  care  of  your  trunk.  So  you  all  went  off  to  a  Sunday- 
school  treat,  singing  "The  Yellow  Gown." 

Has  Montagu  been  to  see  you  yet?  I  don't  know  what 
his  address  is. 

I  will  send  you  a  copy  of  the  July  Current  Opinion.  I 
succeeded  Leonard  Abbot  as  editor  of  the  Letters  and  Art 
Department,  you  know. 

Don't  forget  that  you  are  to  suggest  a  title  for  my  new 
book!  It  will  appear  early  in  September. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


92 


ERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


July  1,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  hope  you  are  enjoying  Yorkshire.  Your 
friends,  the  Suffragettes,  seem  to  be  spending  a  busy  summer. 
It  wouldn't  surprise  me  for  the  American  Suffragettes  to 
adopt  militant  tactics  soon. 

Your  account  of  the  Liberal  meeting  was  most  amusing. 
Who  told  you  you  could  heckle  public  speakers?  The  to1  acco 
has  not  yet  arrived,  but  I  suppose  it  will  be  here  by  the  time 
you  get  this  letter.  Thanks  very  much. 

Rose  seems  to  be  gaining  strength  and  is  in  excellent  health. 
She  has  quite  recovered  from  attack  of  poison-ivy.  She 
seems  to  be  steadily  gaining  strength  in  her  arms  and  can  now 
lift  one  hand  to  her  mouth  and  feed  herself,  when  she  is  lying 
down. 

In  Sunday's  Times  I  have  an  article  about  a  newly  found 
poem  of  "Sappho,"  the  discovery  of  which  you  may  have  seen 
noted  in  the  London  papers.  I  have  made  a  translation  of 
it  into  English  "Sapphies,"  that  is,  into  the  same  form  of  Eng 
lish  verse.  I  will  send  you  a  copy,  though  I  suppose  my  father 
keeps  you  supplied  with  American  newspapers. 

When  do  you  go  to  Yorkshire?  I  suppose  my  letters  will 
be  forwarded  if  they  arrive  at  The  Norfolk  after  you  leave. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


93 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


July  10,  1914 

DEAR  BRAT — Thanks  for  the  excellent  tobacco.  It  is 
very  good  indeed.  I  smoke  it  in  that  briar  pipe  you  sent  me; 
one  of  the  best  pipes  you  have  given  me.  Kenton  insists  on 
swiping  the  "Dam  family"  pipe  to  blow  soap-bubbles  through. 

I  edited  a  symposium  which  appeared  in  last  Sunday's 
Times,  on  "What  Is  the  Best  Poem  in  the  English  Language?" 
Twenty-five  prominent  English  and  American  poets  took  part. 

The  publishers  called  the  book  "Trees  and  Other  Poems." 
I  think  that  the  titles  you  suggested  are  much  better,  par 
ticularly  "The  Fourth  Shepherd  and  Other  Poems."  But 
possibly  that  would  make  the  book  seem  too  devotional. 
"Trees"  is  my  best-known  poem,  I  believe.  The  book  is 
dedicated  to  you,  and  so  also  is  one  of  the  poems,  "Folly.'' 
I  put  "To  A.  K.  K."  as  "Folly's"  dedication,  because  I  didn't 
want  to  repeat  the  dedication  of  the  book. 

I've  got  to  go  down  to  the  publishers — be  a  good  brat 
and  take  rum  on  grape  fruit. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

IQld 

X  ~/  J.T? 

DEAR  BRAT — That  is  an  excellent  music  box  you  sent  Bose. 
She  enjoys  it  very  much  and  so  do  we.  I  remember  that  I  had 
one  like  it,  only  round. 

I  am  glad  you  are  enjoying  the  Bochester  Convention. 
The  Dickens  Fellowship  meets  tonight,  and  I  will  read  a  part 
of  the  report  you  sent  me.  I  am  glad  to  have  the  copy  of  the 
"Valentine"  song.  I  have  not  had  a  chance  to  have  it  played 
yet,  but  I  remember  the  excellent  tune,  and  I  want  to  hear 
you  sing  it. 

I  wrote  a  one-act  play  Sunday.  It  may  appear  in  the 
Smart  Set.  I  sent  it  to  them  first. 

Enjoy  yourself,  and  drink  Barley  Wine  every  day. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

94 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 


1914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  think  that  that  pipe  you  sent  me  is  the 
best  one  you  ever  bought  for  me.  It's  not  the  most  elaborate, 
of  course,  but  it's  an  excellent  pipe,  good  briar  with  a  good 
bit,  and  it  takes  up  very  little  room  in  my  pocket.  Thanks, 
very  much! 

I  am  glad  you  are  enjoying  London.  Your  account  of  the 
meetings  of  the  Dickens  Fellowship  was  most  entertaining. 
You  will  probably  have  a  very  good  time  at  Rochester. 

I  will  get  the  elevator  starter's  (not  porter's)  last  name  and 
send  it  to  you  soon. 

This  afternoon  I  am  going  to  Greystone,  Mrs.  Samuel 
Untermeyer's  residence  on  the  Hudson,  in  a  special  car  with 
other  members  of  the  Poetry  Society.  Some  of  us  are  to 
read  aloud  on  the  lawn;  it's  a  sort  of  a  May  festival.  I  will 
read  "Trees"  and  perhaps  "Old  Poets." 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


95 


MEMORIES       OF       MY       SON 


1914 

DEAR  BRAT — You  will  receive  a  very  nice  birthday  present 
indeed,  if  you  are  a  good  infant.  Your  birthday  poem  may 
not  reach  you  on  your  birthday,  because  it's  to  be  an  extra 
special  birthday  poem,  to  be  used  as  the  dedication  to  "Trees 
and  Other  Poems."  But  you'll  get  it  soon. 

Did  you  see  my  poem  "Waverly"  in  the  London 
Spectator?  I  got  a  sovereign  for  it.  It  was  reprinted  in  the 
London  Public  Opinion,  which  reprinted  in  the  same  issue 
my  poem  "The  Bartender,"  from  the  Smart  Set.  This  year 
is  the  one-hundredth  anniversary  of  the  publication  of  Sir 
Walter  Scott's  "Waverly,"  the  first  of  the  series  which  was 
called  the  Waverly  novels. 

I  suppose  you  have  seen  my  play,  "Some  Mischief  Still," 
in  the  Smart  Set  by  now.  I  hope  you  found  it  amusing.  It 
may  be  brought  out  in  book  form  by  Vaughan  and  Gomme 
this  autumn. 

Your  account  of  the  lunatic  in  the  train  is  most  entertain 
ing.  I  enjoyed  it  tremendously. 

Be  a  good  infant,  and  you'll  get  a  good  birthday  present. 
And  we'll  have  fun  next  winter. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


96 


PHOTOGRAPH  OF  HAND-LETTERED  COPY  OF  THE  FAMOUS 
POEM  "TREES,"  SENT  TO  JOYCE  BY  AN  ADMIRER,  AND 
PRESENTED  TO  His  MOTHER 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 

1914 

DEAR  BRAT — I  had  a  queer  experience  recently.  I  re 
ceived  a  big  square  of  grey  cardboard  on  which  some  one  had 
carefully  lettered  my  poem  "Trees"  and  pasted  above  it  a 
beautiful  photograph  of  a  tree.  I  found  out  later  that  it  had 
been  done  by  a  man  out  in  St.  Louis,  Missouri,  whom  I  do  not 
know,  and  William  Marion  Reedy,  editor  of  the  St.  Louis 
Mirror  saw  it  and  got  him  to  send  it  to  me.  You  can  have  it 
if  you  wish;  it  makes  rather  a  nice  decoration.  I'll  keep  it 
till  you  get  back,  though;  you  won't  want  to  carry  it  all  over 
England. 

Has  Montagu  been  to  see  you  yet? 

I  may  give  two  lectures  a  week  on  English  poetry  at  the 
Comstock  School  next  year.  I  am  going  to  see  about  it  today. 
Are  you  going  to  Stratford-on-Avon?  There  is  some  special 
celebration  there  this  year — or  perhaps  they  had  it  last  month. 
Enjoy  yourself,  and  drink  musty  ale. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE, 


April  29,  1915 

DEAR  BRAT — Here  is  a  letter  which  I  received  after  you 
sailed.  I  will  have  my  Underwood  &  Underwood  pictures 
developed  and  send  one  over  to  you.  The  pictures  of  you 
certainly  are  delightful. 

I  hope  you  get  acquainted  with  George  Arliss,  if  that  was 
he  whom  we  saw  just  before  the  boat  sailed.  He  is  a  very 
great  actor. 

This  is  not  a  regular  letter ;  it's  just  to  carry  the  letter  I  am 
forwarding.  I'll  write  you  a  regular  letter  soon.  Be  a  good 
brat  and  enjoy  yourself. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 
97 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — Here  is  a  picture  taken  Easter  day.  I  don't 
think  you  have  seen  it  before.  It  does  not  look  particularly 
Eastery. 

I  enjoyed  your  two  graphic  letters  very  much.  This 
certainly  is  an  exciting  time  to  be  in  England.  Your  letter 
about  the  soldier  and  his  little  boy  was  particularly  interesting. 

I  told  you,  I  think,  about  my  visit  to  Hunter  College, 
where  I  read  several  poems  and  saw  Miss  Cone,  Miss  Wide- 
mer  and  Miss  Klauser.  They  all  spoke  affectionately  of 
you — they  had  asked  me  to  have  you  take  dinner  with  them — 
and  marvelled  at  your  courage  in  sailing.  Miss  Cone  said, 
when  I  said  you  had  been  asked  if  you  were  going  to  be  a 
trained  nurse,  "The  Uniform  would  be  becoming  to  her!" 

I  read  some  poems  at  the  First  Congregational  Church  in 
Flushing  one  evening  last  week. 

I  hope  you  liked  my  "White  Ships  and  the  Red."  I  have 
received  many  letters  about  it.  I  received  two  today,  al 
though  the  poem  was  printed  nine  days  ago.  It  was  widely 
quoted. 

I  am  much  obliged  for  the  numerous  papers.  The  ac 
counts  of  the  anti-German  riots  were  interesting.  Did  you 
see  any  of  it? 

I  am  sending  a  copy  of  a  sonnet  I  wrote  in  memory  of 
Lieutenant  Rupert  Rrooke.  He  was  a  fine  poet,  who  enlisted 
early  in  the  war  and  died  of  sunstroke  in  the  Dardanelles. 
I  think  he  was  the  most  gifted  of  all  the  younger  English  poets. 
The  sonnet  will  probably  appear  in  the  New  York  Nation  and 
I  am  also  sending  a  copy  to  the  London  New  Witness. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  enjoy  yourself.  Kenton,  Rose, 
Deborah  and  Aline  send  love. 

Affectionately  yours,  JOYCE. 


98 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — Miss  Widemer  recently  sent  me  the  pic 
tures  which  I  enclose.  She  asked  for  your  address,  and  said 
she'd  send  you  a  copy.  She  sent  me  also  an  absolutely  de 
lightful  snapshot  of  you,  which  I  am  keeping,  since  she  will 
send  you  another.  I  have  given  her  your  address. 

I  am  enjoying  Punch  tremendously.  All  the  other  publi 
cations  for  which  I  asked  you  are  coming  regularly  except 
The  New  Witness. 

I  enclose  a  circular  announcing  my  lectures,  although 
I  have  a  vague  recollection  of  having  sent  you  one  before.  I 
expect  to  go  out  West  lecturing  in  the  late  autumn  and  winter. 

It  looks  now  as  if  we'd  get  into  war  with  Germany,  but 
of  course  there  is  no  way  of  knowing  what  will  happen.  At 
any  rate,  the  war  has  awrakened  the  United  States  to  a  sense 
of  the  necessity  of  adequate  armaments.  It  is  probable  that 
we  will  have  henceforth  a  large  standing  army  and  perhaps 
also  a  system  of  compulsory  national  service.  It  certainly 
would  be  a  good  thing. 

The  first  Thursday  after  your  return  I  will  take  you  to 
Farrish's  Chop  House  for  luncheon,  unless  you  want  some 
place  peculiarly  American  for  a  change.  Farrish's  is  the  only 
place  in  New  York  that  I  have  found  where  they  keep  Burton 
ale — an  admirable  beverage  which  I  hope  you  enjoy  daily. 

Be  a  good  infant,  and  scare  off  Zeppelins  with  your  um 
brella. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


99 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — I  got  the  admirable  pipe  this  morning. 
Thank  you  very  much;  it's  just  the  sort  of  pipe  I  like.  It  has 
a  persh  stem,  which  is  the  proper  sort  of  stem,  and  the  bowl 
is  made  out  of  an  excellent  piece  of  briar. 

Last  week  I  went  up  to  D'youville  College,  in  Buffalo, 
to  deliver  a  graduation  address.  D'youville  is  a  very  fine 
college  for  young  ladies,  conducted  by  the  Grey  Nuns.  I  am 
going  there  again  to  lecture  on  Lionel  Johnson. 

Naturally,  the  reports  of  bombs  being  dropped  on  England 
are  disconcerting,  especially  since  the  papers  do  not  give  the 
names  of  the  places  struck.  You  certainly  have  selected 
a  lively  place  for  a  holiday. 

I  am  enclosing  with  this  a  few  circulars  of  my  book.  I'll 
send  more  if  you  want  them.  I  send  also  a  copy  of  a  poem 
which  has  jiot"yet]appeared  in  print. 

Kenton  is  grateful  for  his  postcards,  and  sends  his  love, 
as  do  the  rest  of  the  menagerie.  As  Kenton  is  learning  to 
read  print,  he  would  appreciate  receiving  a  postcard  on  which 
you  had  inscribed,  in  large  letters,  some  brief  and  appropriate 
message  which  he  could  decipher  for  himself,  such  as,  for 
example,  THE  BABY  BITES  THE  CAT. 

Be  a  good  child  and  don't  let  England  go  prohibition. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


100 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — I  don't  think  you  can  be  getting  all  my 
letters.  I  notice  you  have  not  said  anything  about  a  little 
snap-shot  of  myself  I  sent  you  some  weeks  ago.  Perhaps  the 
censor  got  it.  I'll  send  you  one  of  the  large  pictures  made  by 
Underwood  &  Underwood  some  time  this  week.  Also  I  will 
send  you  a  copy  of  Harper's  Weekly,  containing  an  essay  of 
mine  called  "Daily  Travelling." 

I  am  glad  you  liked  the  poem  on  Rupert  Brooke.  Did 
you  receive  one  called  "The  Circus"? 

I  am  glad  to  receive  the  papers  you  send  me  from  time 
to  time.  You  must  take  in  all  the  shows  and  generally  have 
as  good  a  time  as  you  can,  because  it  does  not  do  to  be  idle 
in  a  country  situated  as  England  is  today;  the  atmosphere 
will  distress  you  unless  you  amuse  yourself. 

Don't  bother  about  the  Dickens  Fellowship.  The  New 
York  Chapter  will  be  tempted  to  secede  unless  it  receives  some 
recognition.  It  paid  its  dues  to  London  for  a  long  time,  but 
got  no  benefit  therefrom.  Next  year  I'll  have  New  York  Chap 
ter  nominate  you  for  vice-president  of  the  main  body. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


101 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — You  certainly  should  have  received  the 
Truth  prize  for  the  best  Lusitania  acrostic.  Your  poem  was 
admirable;  certainly  the  best  of  those  printed.  I  showed  it 
to  my  friend,  Albert  Crockett,  who  agreed  with  me  that  it 
was  very  good  indeed. 

I  am  enjoying  the  magazines  and  newspapers  which  you 
send  me.  Much  obliged.  The  pipe  is  excellent,  as  I  have 
already  told  you. 

I  am  surprised  that  you  failed  to  receive  the  little  snap 
shot  which  I  sent  you.  I  enclose  in  this  envelope  a  clipping 
from  the  Book  News  Monthly,  in  which  the  picture  is  repro 
duced.  I  will  send  you  this  week  one  of  the  Underwood  & 
Underwood  photographs. 

We  had  not  heard  of  the  Zeppelin  attack  on  Hull.  Take 
care  of  yourself,  adventurous  infant,  and  stay  inland.  Buxton 
should  be  safe,  I  suppose.  Fortunately,  the  Zeppelin  attacks 
on  England  seem  to  be  mainly  spectacular. 

What  do  you  suppose  you  are  going  to  get  for  your  birth 
day  present? 

Yours  aifectionately,  JOYCE. 


ACROSTIC  ON  THE  LUSITANIA 

(Referred  to  in  Joyce's  letter) 

Let  us  remember  to  our  latest  day, 

Under  whose  flag  the  devilish  deed  was  done! 

So  let  our  children's  children  scorn  the  Hun! 

In  Hell's  vast  concourse  every  fiend  was  gay, 
To  know  the  thousands  hurled  beneath  the  wave, 
At  sunrise  living — night  an  ocean  grave. 

Never  shall  Germany  forgiven  be! 

In  every  heart  where  love  and  pity  flame, 

A  murderer  and  the  Kaiser  are  the  same. 


102 


SERGEANT   JOYCE   KILMER 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — This  evening's  papers  say  that  numerous 
Americans  in  London  have  been  warned  to  leave  the  city. 
Were  you  warned?  I  don't  suppose  you'd  leave,  however, 
until  you  were  good  and  ready  to,  if  the  Kaiser  himself  blew 
up  Horrex's  hotel.  However,  I  imagine  you'll  find  Coxwold 
more  comfortable. 

I  can't  remember  whether  or  not  I  sent  you  a  copy  of  my 
poem  "Under  Canvas."  I  enclose  a  copy  anyway.  I've 
sold  it  to  LippincoWs  Magazine. 

I  have  enjoyed  the  papers  very  much,  especially  those 
with  the  accounts  of  the  anti-German  riots.  I  also  was  very 
glad  to  see  the  picture  of  Horrex's.  We  certainly  had  a  good 
time  in  London  last  summer. 

Rose  is  gaining  in  strength,  under  Miss  Berg's  ministra 
tions.  Deborah  already  can  crawl  around  the  bed,  which  is 
considered  advanced  for  her  age. 

Try  Gruyere  cheese  on  soft  toasted  biscuit,  with  bottled 
port.  An  excellent  combination,  especially  since  you  are 
where  those  commodities  grow. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


103 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — This  evening  I  was  looking  through  an  an 
thology,  and  I  came  across  "A  life  on  the  ocean  wave,  A  home 
on  the  rolling  deep."  And  who  should  be  its  author  but 
your  old  friend  Epes  Sargent!  Furthermore  I  find  that  he 
was  born  at  Gloucester,  Massachusetts,  September  27,  1812, 
and  died  at  Boston,  December  31,  1880.  Requiescat! 

The  destruction  of  the  Lusitania  has,  of  course,  caused 
great  excitement,  and  an  anti-German  feeling  almost  uni 
versal.  There  are  now  no  neutrals  and  no  pro-Germans, 
only  Americans  and  Germans.  President  Wilson's  message, 
delivered  today,  is  firmer  than  was  expected,  and  Germany 
will  either  comply  with  the  American  demands,  paying  an 
indemnity,  apologising  and  promising  to  change  her  tactics 
of  naval  warfare,  or  find  the  United  States  in  the  field  against 
her.  And  this  will  be  a  formidable  matter,  small  as  are  our 
army  and  navy ;  we  can  send  England  much  more  ammunition 
than  we  are  at  present  sending  and  also  take  possession  of 
the  German  merchant  vessels  now  in  New  York  harbor.  I 
enclose  a  poem  from  next  Sunday's  Times,  which  shows  my 
attitude  in  the  Lusitania  affair.  The  torpedoing  of  an  un 
armed  ship,  carrying  neutrals,  certainly  cannot  be  justified; 
it  was  an  error  as  well  as  a  crime. 

You  remember,  I  suppose,  that  I  told  you  I  was  going  to 
go  in  for  fiction.  I  have  started  in.  I  took  a  story  called 
"Try  a  Tin  Today!"  to  a  literary  agent  this  morning. 

It  must  be  exciting  to  be  in  England,  but  the  United  States 
is  exciting  enough  itself,  nowadays.     Feeling  is  as  high  as  it 
was  during  the  days  preceding  the  Spanish-American  War. 
I  think  that  the  effect  of  America's  entrance  into  the  hostili 
ties  will  be  to  hasten  the  coming  of  peace. 

I  hope  you  find  the  Fauconberg  Arms  comfortable.  Drink 
plenty  of  Bass — good  Heavens,  think  of  Bass  at  sixpence — 
when  I  pay  .30  for  a  drink,  Bass  only  in  name! 

You'll  be  having  a  birthday  soon,  now,  won't  you?  Be 
a  good  infant  and  see  what  a  present  you'll  get ! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 
104 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — I'm  afraid  you  didn't  like  your  birthday 
poem!  Your  postcard  about  it  seemed  to  show  that  you 
didn't  like  it.  It's  a  good  poem,  however,  and  I'll  give  you 
another  one  when  you  come  back,  when  you  get  your  regular 
birthday  present. 

I  hope  the  letters  I  posted  to  you  at  Coxwold  have  been 
forwarded  to  you  at  Buxton.  Remember  me  to  Mr.  Smilter. 

I  am  going  lecturing  in  October — I  sent  you  my  lecture 
circular,  I  think.  I've  already  had  offers  from  Cincinnati, 
Chicago,  Washington,  Toronto,  Sharon  (Pennsylvania)  and 
Prairie  du  Chien  (Wisconsin)  and  Buffalo. 

I  enclose  a  poem  which  I  hope  to  sell  to  the  magazine  that 
printed  "The  House  With  Nobody  In  It."  My  sonnet  on 
Rupert  Brooke,  which  I  sent  you,  will  be  in  the  New  York 
Bookman  for  September.  I'll  send  you  a  copy.  I  sent  you 
a  Harper's  Weekly  with  my  essay  on  "Sign-boards"  recently. 

I  suppose  Buxton  is  pleasantly  busy  after  the  quiet  of 
Coxwold.  But  don't  drink  those  flat  sulphurous  waters — 
drink  ale!  And  when  you  get  back,  I'll  take  you  to  Farrish's 
Chop  House  and  we'll  have  some  Burton  ale. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


105 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1915 

DEAR  BRAT — I'm  sorry  you  didn't  like  your  poem;  as 
a  matter  of  fact,  it's  a  good  poem.  But  I'll  give  you  another 
when  you  get  back,  when  I  give  you  your  birthday  present. 

My  father  was  out  yesterday  to  Mahwah.  He  sails  next 
Saturday.  He  seems  well. 

Aline's  spoons  must  have  gone  down  on  the  Arabic.  She 
will  value  her  ivory  cross  highly.  I  am  glad  you  got  it. 

You  remember  the  Book  News  Monthly,  which  printed 
Mrs.  Byer's  interview  with  me?  I  have  a  job  reviewing  poetry 
for  it.  I  am  to  write  four  articles  a  year  about  all  the  new 
books  of  verse. 

I  hope  to  publish  a  book  of  essays  soon.  I  find  I  have 
twenty-five  on  hand. 

I  am  looking  forward  to  your  return  and  will,  of  course, 
meet  the  boat.  I  don't  think  there  is  much  chance  of  a  war 
before  your  return.  But  we  must  go  to  war  sooner  or  later. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1915 


DEAR  BRAT — I  don't  know  that  this  letter  will  reach 
England  before  you  sail,  but  it  may  be  forwarded  to.  the  boat. 
As  I've  already  told  you,  you  are  to  receive  a  new  birthday 
poem  when  you  return,  as  well  as  your  birthday  present. 

That  letter  of  yours  about  the  hypothetical  wounded  man 
carrying  his  own  head  was  a  highly  entertaining  bit  of  descrip 
tion.  You  certainly  can  write  letters! 

As  to  my  lectures,  most  of  them  will  be  out  West.  But 
I  may  have  some  in  Montclair  and  Jersey  City,  and  these 
I'll  certainly  give  you  an  opportunity  to  attend. 

You  are  an  impudent  infant,  with  your  comments  on  my 
interview  with  Dr.  Vizetelly! 

I'll  be  very  glad  to  have  you  back  in  a  respectable  country. 
The  first  Thursday  after  your  return,  we'll  have  luncheon  at 
the  Garret  restaurant,  where  they  have  that  excellent  view 
over  the  harbor.  And  "Treasure  Island"  is  to  be  played  this 
year — we'll  have  to  go  to  see  it! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

106 


SERGEANT       JOYCE       KILMER 


1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Glad  you  find  Grimsby  amusing.  Canada's 
a  nice  place,  but  ridiculous  confusion  in  money — American, 
English,  Canadian — absurd.  I  repeat — hoping  thereby  to 
hurt  the  censor's  feelings — absurd! 

Hope  you  found  the  Hotel  Statler  in  Buffalo  comfortable. 
I  think  the  Statler  hotels  are  the  best  in  the  country — better 
value  for  the  money  than  any  New  York  hotels. 

In  a  week  or  so  I'm  going  out  to  Winona,  Minnesota,  to 
give  a  commencement,  address.  And  by  the  way,  I  have  to 
wear  a  cap  and  gown — do  you  know  where  those  garments 
are?  I  have  an  idea  that  they  are  in  New  Brunswick,  but 
I  don't  remember  seeing  them  there. 

It's  possible  I'll  be  up  towards  Grimsby  in  July  or  August, 
if  you're  a  good  infant.  I  suppose  my  father  keeps  you  sup 
plied  with  newspapers  and  magazines,  doesn't  he?  Let  me 
know  the  names  of  any  you  wish  sent. 

We  had  the  last  Dickens  Fellowship  meeting  of  the  season 
last  night.  Ellis  Parker  Butler  read.  It  was  pouring,  so 
there  wasn't  much  of  a  crowd. 

Well,  I'll  write  you  again  soon.  By  the  way — this  is  very 
important — by  all  means  drink  Cosgrove's  ale!  It's  made  in 
Canada.  You  can't  get  it  in  the  United  States,  and  it's 
admirable — much  better  than  the  Bass  you  get  over  here. 
Be  a  good  infant  and  drink  large  quantities  of  it. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


107 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1916 

DEAR  BRAT — I'm  rather  glad  you're  going  to  the  Berk- 
shires.  I  thought  you  might  find  Grimsby  dull.  It's  pleasant 
to  have  been  in  Canada,  however.  What  part  of  the  Berk- 
shires  do  you  intend  to  go  to?  You  might  find  it  more  amusing 
at  Cape  Cod.  There  are  some  nice  places  to  stay  at  there. 

It's  a  fact  about  its  being  bad  for  the  eyes  for  anyone  to 
shave  his  upper  lip.  You  see,  a  man  in  shaving  his  upper  lip 
focusses  his  eyes  upon  it,  thus  crossing  them.  And  this 
inevitably  has  a  weakening  effect.  And  that's  why  artillery 
officers  and  I  have  moustaches. 

I'm  going  back  to  New  York  at  the  end  of  this  week.  I 
have  a  lecture  at  Sinsinawa,  Wisconsin,  on  Friday  or  Saturday. 

I  am  glad  to  learn  you  are  going  to  drink  Cosgrove's  ale. 
It  is  an  admirable  beverage. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


103 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Much  obliged  for  letters  and  papers.  My 
father  found  the  academic  cap  and  Aline  believes  the  gown  is 
in  a  box  in  our  cellar.  If  I  don't  find  it  I  can  borrow  one. 

I'm  going  West  the  end  of  next  week,  giving  an  address  at 
a  college  in  Winona,  Minnesota,  a  week  from  Monday,  that 
is,  the  fifth  of  June.  On  the  10th  of  June  I  lecture  at  Sin- 
sinawa,  Wisconsin.  The  intervening  days  I  expect  to  spend 
at  Campion  College,  Prairie  du  Chien,  Wisconsin,  visiting 
some  friends.  That  is  the  address  you'd  better  put  on  any 
letters  you  send  me  the  latter  part  of  next  week  or  the  early 
part  of  the  week  following. 

I  am  glad  you  find  Grimsby  comfortable,  and  earnestly 
urge  that  you  drink  Cosgrove's  ale.  On  this  side  of  the  border 
it  is  impossible  to  obtain  it.  It  is  made  in  Toronto. 

"Main  Street"  will  be  in  House  and  Garden  soon.  I'll 
send  you  a  copy. 

I'm  not  going  to  Montreal  this  June,  but  I'll  be  at  Cliff 
Haven,  which  is  on  Lake  Champlain,  in  the  northern  part  of 
New  York  State,  in  July,  and  I  may  run  up  to  Grimsby  then. 
I  don't  think  it's  a  very  long  trip. 

You  ought  to  do  some  more  writing  while  you  are  at 
Grimsby.  I  think  you  could  have  sold  that  "Cooking  Dinner" 
story  if  you'd  expanded  it  and  sent  it  out  to  magazines  a  few 
more  times.  Sometimes  a  story  goes  to  fifteen  or  twenty 
magazines  before  it  is  taken.  I  recently  sold  The  Argosy 
a  story  called  "Try  a  Tin  Today!"  that  had  been  rejected  by 
about  a  dozen  magazines. 

Edward  Marshall  has  just  returned  from  his  exciting  ad 
ventures  abroad.  He  was  on  the  Sussex  when  it  was  tor 
pedoed,  and  the  shock  made  him  deaf.  But  he  will  probably 
recover  his  hearing. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  don't  forget  to  drink  Cosgrove's  ale. 
I  have  about  four  books  being  published  presently — essays, 
poems,  and  anthology,  book  of  interviews,  and  a  book  of 
Belloc's  poems  for  which  I  wrote  a  preface. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 
109 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1916 

DEAR  BRAT — That  was  a  very  entertaining  tragic  letter 
you  sent  me  today,  or  rather,  that  I  received  today.  I  guess 
you'll  find  Grimsby  all  right  after  you  get  used  to  it. 

I  read  before  the  Federation  of  Women's  Clubs  yesterday, 
and  Dr.  Mary  Walker  was  present.  Have  you  ever  heard  of 
her?  She  wears  a  frock  coat  and  trousers,  being  permitted 
to  wear  men's  clothing  by  a  special  Act  of  Congress.  She 
was  a  nurse  in  the  Civil  War. 

I  am  growing  a  moustache  to  save  my  eyes.  You  know, 
shaving  the  upper  lip  is  said  to  weaken  one's  vision — that  is 
why  all  artillery  officers  are  obliged  to  wear  moustaches.  If 
you  don't  believe  me,  ask  an  officer. 

The  mortar-board  was  in  New  Brunswick,  and  I  found  the 
gown  down  cellar  out  here.  I  leave  for  the  West  Saturday 
morning,  and  from  the  5th  to  the  10th  of  June  my  address 
will  be  as  I  told  you — Campion  College,  Prairie  du  Chien, 
Wisconsin. 

In  this  envelope  you  will  find  a  picture  taken  when  I  was 
in  Cleveland  some  weeks  ago.  The  dog  is  very  good-looking, 
but  he  was  unfortunate  in  not  knowing  how  to  pose  for  a 
photograph. 

I  am  sending  you  by  this  mail  a  copy  of  The  Bellman, 
containing  a  poem  of  mine  called  "The  Proud  Poet."  I  don't 
know  whether  or  not  you'll  like  it — it's  a  colloquial  sort  of 
a  thing. 

You  have  not  yet  replied  to  my  inquiry  as  to  Cosgrove's 
ale!  Kindly  give  this  matter  your  immediate  attention! 

Be  a  good  infant  and  you  may  get  a  birthday  present. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


110 


SERGEANT      JOYCE       KILMER 

Good  Samaritan  Hospital,  Suffern,  N.  Y.,  1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Thanks  for  excellent  tobacco  and  pipe.  My 
ribs  are  healing  up  rapidly,  so  the  doctor  says  I'll  be  out  of  the 
hospital  this  week.  I  think  the  rest  has  done  me  good;  this 
is  a  delightful  place  to  stay,  and  commuting  is  hard  in  hot 
weather.  I  may  take  another  week  off  after  I  leave  the  hos 
pital. 

My  accident  may  make  your  birthday  poem  arrive  a  few 
days  late,  but  you'll  get  it  all  right.  Be  a  good  infant,  and 
you'll  get  nice  birthday  presents  after  you  get  back. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

Don't  think  of  coming  out  here!  I'll  be  out  and  probably 
back  at  Cliff  Haven  before  you  could  get  here. 


1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Enclosed  you  will  find  your  birthday  poem. 
I  hope  you  like  it;  if  you  don't,  tell  me,  and  I'll  write  you 
another  one. 

I  am  out  of  the  hospital  now,  and  expect  to  go  to  my  work 
in  New  York  within  a  week.  I  am  not  going  to  Cliff  Haven 
until  later,  so  as  to  take  in  a  celebration  they  have  there,  and 
also  the  wedding  of  some  people  we  know. 

The  Ramapos,  mentioned  in  the  last  line  of  this  poem,  are, 
you  know,  the  hills  around  Mahwah. 

I  am  glad  you  find  Adams  pleasant.  You  must  take  a 
motor  ride  to  some  of  the  deserted  villages  out  toward  Ar 
lington,  Vermont. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  drink  cider.  Musty  ale  is  not  a  good 
drink;  I  got  it  mixed  up  with  Burton  ale,  which  is  excellent. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 
ill 


MEMORIES       OF      MY       SON 


Mahwah,  N.  J.,  1916 

DEAR  BRAT — It  certainly  is  time  I  got  a  letter  from  you. 
I've  had  several  postcards  which  seemed  to  indicate  more 
or  less  violently,  your  departure  from  Canada.  It  must  be 
nice  to  see  Mt.  Graylock,  a  most  excellent  mountain,  as  I 
remember  it.  You  should  take  a  motor  trip  up  through  the 
Notch  to  the  Bellows  Pipe,  if  possible,  and  also  look  up  Dave 
Eddy,  the  original  "Dave  Lilly."  I  think  you  will  find  it 
very  pleasant  in  the  Berkshires,  and  hope  Arthur's  wife  is  as 
good  a  cook  as  his  mother  was.  Is  Arlington,  Vermont,  near 
where  you  are?  I  know  some  very  nice  people  there,  who  sent 
us  some  excellent  maple  sugar  and  syrup  recently. 

I  am  going  to  Cliff  Haven  to  lecture  for  the  week  beginning 
July  17,  and  after  that  I  may  go  to  the  training  camp  at 
Plattsburg  for  a  month.  I  think  it  will  do  me  a  lot  of  good  to 
go  to  Plattsburg,  and  it  will  also  be  enjoyable. 

I  am  now  in  my  office,  and  find  your  address  on  a  postcard, 
so  this  letter  will  reach  you  all  right.  But  it  certainly  is  time 
I  got  a  letter  from  you! 

According  to  this  morning's  paper,  we  are  at  war  with 
Mexico,  so  the  Plattsburg  camp  may  be  off.  Might  go  to 
Mexico,  instead,  with  young  Michael. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  you'll  get  a  good  birthday  poem. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


112 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Hope  you  don't  mind  being  written  to  in 
pencil.  It's  impossible  to  go  upstairs  and  get  ink  without 
disturbing  thousands  of  young  children.  I  am  sending  you 
herewith  pictures  of  some  of  these  young  children.  I  will 
later  have  some  pictures  taken  of  Rose  giving  a  tea — she  sits 
out  at  a  little  table  in  a  tent  I  recently  bought  and  serves 
imaginary  tea  in  the  excellent  tea-set  you  sent  her.  The  tea- 
set,  being  of  tin,  can  be  left  out  all  night,  and  even  given  to 
Deborah  to  play  with,  without  danger  of  the  destruction  of  it. 

I  am  going  to  Cliff  Haven,  on  Lake  Champlain,  on  July 
17th,  to  lecture  at  the  Summer  School.  By  the  way,  the  men 
standing  beside  me  in  the  picture  I  sent  you  are  priests — 
neither  of  them  is  a  layman.  We  are  on  our  way  to  the 
Mississippi  to  go  for  a  ride  in  the  motor-boat.  It  certainly 
is  nice  out  in  Prairie  du  Chien.  I  really  think  you'd  like  the 
Middle  West  better  than  the  East,  and  I  know  you'd  like 
Chicago  better  than  any  other  great  city,  except  London. 
It  is  not  in  the  least  like  New  York,  and  its  hotels  are  abso 
lutely  heavenly.  I  am  a  good  judge  of  hotels,  as  you,  having 
been  to  the  Statler,  are  aware. 

I  am  glad  you  are  enjoying  Adams.  It  must  be  fine  to  see 
Mt.  Graylock  again.  Remember  me  to  Arthur.  We  enjoyed 
much  your  entertaining  description  of  the  humours  associated 
with  the  local  tragedy. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


113 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Aug.  24,  1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Thanks  very  much  for  excellent  pajamas,  or, 
in  the  British  manner,  pyjamas.  I  needed  them.  Much 
obliged.  Kenton  likes  his  suits,  and  will  himself  write  to 
thank  you.  He  is  teaching  Rose  her  catechism.  A  few  morn 
ings  ago  he  was  dressing,  and  Rose  was  sitting  on  the  bed.  It 
was  about  half  past  seven.  Kenton  asked  the  first  question 
in  the  catechism,  which  is,  "Who  made  you?"  Rose  answered 
the  question  correctly,  but  without  enthusiasm.  Then  Ken- 
ton  asked  the  second  question,  "What  is  Man?"  Whereupon 
Rose  threw  herself  forward  until  her  head  rested  on  her  knees, 
and  said  weakly:  "0,  Kenton,  I'm  dying!  Don't  ask  me  any 
more!"  So  Kenton  stopped  teaching  her  the  catechism  until 
after  breakfast. 

I  took  up  so  much  time  with  my  week  at  Cliff  Haven 
lecturing,  and  my  month  at  the  hospital  and  at  home,  that 
I  won't  be  able  to  stay  away  from  my  office  any  more  this 
summer.  Otherwise  I'd  try  to  get  up  to  Adams. 

I  will  send  you  a  copy  of  Punch  containing  my  essay  "The 
Booklover,"  which  you  will  read  with  more  equanimity  than 
that  with  which  you  regarded  "The  Bally  Pub."  Your  old 
friend,  Louis  Wetmore,  came  out  here  while  I  was  laid  up, 
and  bitterly  reproved  me  for  writing  disrespectfully  of  musty 
ale,  a  beverage  which  he  says  I  drank  with  enthusiasm  when 
we  were  in  London. 

Say,  today,  I  suddenly  saw  your  birthday  present  in  a  shop 
on  Fifth  Avenue!  It  is  a  very  large  present,  and  very  nice — 
the  nicest  you've  had!  You'll  receive  it  as  soon  as  you  get 
back. 

Be  a  good  infant,  and  drink  Hinchcliffe's  ale,  and  Evans' 
pale  ale,  but  not  Evans'  Indian  ale. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


114 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 

1916 

DEAR  BRAT — Glad  you  are  enjoying  Adams.  Did  you  get 
the  copy  of  Punch  I  sent  you,  containing  "The  Booklover"? 
When  are  you  coming  home?  A  very  good  place  to  eat  is  the 
Park  Avenue  Hotel,  which  has  a  very  large  fountain  in  its 
dining  room. 

By  the  way,  I  forgot  to  tell  you  that  when  I  was  laid  up 
with  broken  ribs,  the  things  that  I  read  most  frequently,  and 
with  the  greatest  enjoyment,  were  the  bound  volumes  of 
Punch,  and  the  volumes  of  Leech's  drawings.  You  brought 
them  to  me  from  England  a  few  years  ago,  and  I  think  they're 
the  best  present  I  ever  received.  Their  humour  wears  ad 
mirably. 

I  find  myself  about  to  vote  for  a  Republican  candidate  for 
president.  I  expected  to  vote  for  Roosevelt,  but  in  default 
of  him  I'll  vote  for  Hughes.  The  Mexican  situation  alone  is 
sufficient  to  make  me  vote  against  Wilson. 

I  am  glad  you  are  keeping  up  your  croquet.  Why  don't 
you  have  a  croquet  field  made  at  New  Brunswick?  There  is 
plenty  of  room  in  the  side  yard. 

I'll  be  glad  to  see  you,  and  you'll  get  a  very  nice  birthday 
present.  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

1917 


DEAR  BRAT — Of  course  I'd  be  glad  to  see  you  in  N.  Y. 
You  could  stop  at  the  Savoy.  But  the  only  free  time  I  have 
is  12  to  2,  and  I  generally  have  errands  then,  so  it  wouldn't 
be  worth  while  coming.  We  leave  for  the  South  August  5. 
Thanks  for  the  toilet  case  just  received.  Eagerly  await  hussif. 
Soon  fed  by  U.  S.  A.  I  hear  it's  very  nice  in  Spartanburg,  S.C. 
Good  swimming  there.  You'll  get  birthday  poem  soon, 
perhaps.  If  you  don't  like  it,  return  it  and  get  another. 
All  goods  returnable.  I  hope  you  don't  call  soldiers  Sammies. 
Disgusting  nickname.  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

115 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


En  Route  Chicago,  June  12,  1917 

DEAR  BRAT — Got  a  very  nice  letter  from  you  this  morning. 
Glad  you  like  Fr.  O'Connor.  Also  glad  you'll  be  back  on  the 
18th  of  June.  We'll  go  to  Healy's  Golden  Glades,  a  very 
amusing  place. 

I  am  making  a  flying  trip  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  Wisconsin, 
to  give  the  Baccalaureate  address  at  Campion  College.  I 
expect  to  get  back  to  Larchmont  on  Sunday  morning.  It's 
a  big  trip  just  to  give  one  address,  but  I  made  the  engagement 
last  February  and  didn't  want  to  break  it.  Also  I  greatly 
enjoy  visiting  Campion — it  is  a  beautiful  place,  and  the  people 
there  are  very  nice.  This  will  be  my  fourth  visit  to  the 
college. 

The  children  are  all  well  and  Michael  is  very  elastic — when 
you  punch  his  stomach  your  fist  bounds  back  as  from  a  punch 
ing  bag.  It  is  excellent  exercise.  I  am  going  to  teach  it  to 
Deborah;  I  think  it  will  be  helpful  in  developing  her  upper 
arms. 

I  have  not  yet  heard  about  my  anthology,  but  I  think 
George  H.  Doran  will  publish  it.  He  has  accepted  "Main 
Street  and  Other  Poems" — how  do  you  like  the  title? 

When  our  lease  expires  in  October  I  think  we'll  take  an 
other  house  in  Larchmont — near  where  we  are  now,  but  closer 
to  the  Sound. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


116 


JOYCE  KILMER,  B.A.   (COLUMBIA,  '08) ! 

PHOTOGRAPH    BY    UNDERWOOD    &    UNDERWOOD,    TAKEN 
FEBRUARY  8,  1917 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — I  got  your  very  amusing  letter  on  my  return 
from  the  West,  where  I  had  a  fine  time.  My  Baccalaureate 
address  delivered  at  Campion  is  to  be  printed  as  a  pamphlet. 
I'll  send  you  some  copies.  I  may  have  copies  of  it  next  week 
when  you  are  in  town.  Also  I  may  have  my  poetry  prize 
medal  then.  I  don't  expect  to  go  to  camp  until  about  July 
15th,  but  after  July  1st,  I  may  be  on  duty  in  New  York  at  the 
Armory. 

I  am  going  to  write  an  article  that  will  amuse  you — about 
Alfred  Watts,  the  imaginary  poet  Margaret  Widemer  and 
I  created. 

Isn't  it  exciting  about  Dr.  Condon  and  New  Brunswick? 
Do  you  remember  him?  I  remember  seeing  him  ride  past 
the  house. 

We'll  have  a  lot  of  fun  next  week. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


July  10,  1917 

DEAR  BRAT — If  you  desire  I  will  send  you  a  number  of 
circulars  like  the  one  enclosed. 

The  Seventh  stays  at  the  Armory  after  next  Sunday,  and 
then  in  about  ten  days  goes  to  a  training  camp,  probably  in 
South  Carolina.  I'll  send  you  the  address  as  soon  as  I  know 
it  accurately.  I  find  I'll  have  to  get  a  lot  of  stuff  to  take  to 
camp  with  me — I  only  learned  what  I  would  need  last  night. 
Will  you  please  give  me  an  order  on  Rogers  Peet,  34th  Street 
store,  or  telegraph  it  (not  signing  the  telegram  "Gerber")  to 
get  some  truck — chiefly  hussifs  and  towels  and  similar  things? 

Received  a  very  amusing  letter  from  you  recently.  Glad 
to  know  my  judgment  as  to  the  appropriate  wrist  for  watches 
was  correct.  The  one  you  got  me  is  excellent  and  keeps  good 
time.  Much  obliged!  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

117 


MEMORIES       OF       MY       SON 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — I  think  I'll  get  my  father  to  send  you  some 
stamped  and  addressed  envelopes  to  use  in  writing  me!  The 
enclosed  envelope  was  posted  in  Pittsfield  with  a  one  cent 
stamp,  and  I  had  to  send  another  one  cent  stamp  to  Pittsfield 
to  get  it!  If  I'd  done  a  thing  like  that — 

I'm  going  to  Prairie  du  Chien  soon  for  a  commencement 
address,  but  I  have  to  take  the  train  right  back  after  it  because 
of  drill.  We  were  on  guard  in  the  Armory  all  day,  expecting  a 
riot  call,  but  none  came.  We  expect  to  go  to  training  camp 
July  15th. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  you'll  get  a  nice  birthday  present. 

Aline,  Michael,  Kenton,  Rose  and  Deborah  send  love. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — Enclosed  letter  may  amuse  you,  especially 
the  part  about  the  deserted  grandsons.  Entertaining  thing 
to  do.  Aline  and  I  think  of  shipping  Kenton  and  Michael, 
not  to  speak  of  Christopher,  to  Cheshire.  By  the  way,  Chris 
topher  does  not  mean  "cross-bearer,"  but  "Christ-bearer," 
which  is  something  else  again.  I  gave  Mrs.  Sillcocks  desired 
information.  I  hope  no  other  aspiring  authors  have  infantile 
photographs  of  me.  I  go  to  the  Armory  to  stay  Sunday,  but 
I'll  have  time  off  frequently  to  go  home  and  to  the  office. 
I  don't  know  when  we'll  go  to  training  camp;  perhaps  in 
August,  perhaps  in  September.  I  am  engaged  on  an  anthology 
of  Catholic  poems,  to  be  published  September  1st;  have  to 
finish  it  this  week.  Wrist  watch  keeps  good  time  and  enjoys 
resting  Melvolina. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

118 


SERGEANT   JOYCE   KILMER 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — Do  you  know  that  in  addition  to  being  worn 
on  the  left  wrist,  a  soldier's  wrist-watch  should  be  turned  so 
that  the  face  is  parallel  to  the  palm,  not  the  back,  of  the  hand? 
No  hussif  yet  received!  Very  soon  I'll  be  in  camp,  and  ready 
to  receive  such  things  as  boxes  of  cigars,  cans  of  tobacco,  cans 
(or,  if  you  prefer,  tins)  of  ginger  snaps,  and  pipes  and  such 
things. 

I  passed  my  Federal  physical  examination  yesterday,  and 
tomorrow  all  the  Regiment  is  mustered  into  Federal  service. 
I  drill  about  four  hours  a  day,  and  also  have  guard  duty  and 
such  things.  I  didn't  get  to  the  office  today,  but  expect  to 
do  so  tomorrow.  There  will  probably  be  a  letter  from  you 
there.  When  I  come  back  from  the  war  I  don't  think  I'll 
go  back  on  the  Times;  I  think  I'll  get  a  department  on  some 
magazine  and  spend  more  time  lecturing. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  you'll  get  a  nice  birthday  present. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1917 


DEAR  BRAT — Presently  you'll  get  a  telegram  from  me, 
sent  collect,  if  you  don't  look  out!  I've  sent  you  two  letters 
and  got  only  one!  Write!  But  I  got  a  postcard  and  two 
telegrams,  and  also  a  telegram  from  my  father  telling  me  to 
write.  From  your  telegram  I'm  glad  to  learn  you  received 
my  letters.  Ridiculous.  Nevertheless,  you'll  get  a  very 
nice  birthday  present  from  me  this  year.  And  we'll  have  a  lot 
of  fun  when  you  come  back  at  the  end  of  June.  We'll  go  to 
Healy's  Golden  Glades — a  very  amusing  place. 

I  have  written  four  articles  for  "Warner's  Library  of  the 
World's  Best  Literature" — the  articles  being  on  Masefield, 
Cawein,  William  Vaughn  Moody  and  Francis  Thompson. 
Louis  Wetmore  has  just  come  in  and  sends  you  his  love.  He 
has  enlisted  in  the  7th,  too.  Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

119 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — Thanks  for  order  on  Rogers  Peet.  Got 
several  things  there  today — safety  razor,  bag,  etc.  They 
didn't  have  hussifs.  If  you  find  any,  you  might  send  me  one. 
Address  me  at  Times  until  I  give  you  my  new  address.  I  may 
find  out  tonight  where  I'll  be  stationed.  I  think  we'll  be  in 
New  York  at  the  Armory  for  a  month  yet,  but  I'm  not  sure. 
Have  to  go  on  the  wagon  Sunday,  when  we  are  mobilised. 
Terrible,  isn't  it?  Also,  we  can't  smoke  on  the  streets  when 
we  are  in  uniform,  and  we  are  always  to  be  in  uniform! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — I  haven't  heard  from  you  since  you  left 
N.  Y.,  but  there  may  be  a  letter  at  the  office.  I  haven't  been 
there  recently — I've  been  too  busy  at  the  Armory.  For  the 
last  twenty-four  hours  I've  been  on  guard  duty — two  hours 
on  and  four  hours  off.  By  the  way,  I'm  supposed,  you  know, 
to  have  become  much  thinner  since  I  joined  the  army.  Well, 
I  got  weighed  yesterday  and  the  scales  showed  178  pounds — 
only  two  pounds  less  than  I  weighed  last  winter!  So  either 
I've  not  lost  fat  or  I've  gained  muscle. 

If,  or  when,  my  transfer  to  the  69th  goes  through,  my  ad 
dress  will  be  Private  Joyce  Kilmer,  Company  K,  165th  Regi 
ment,  Camp  Mills,  Mineola,  Garden  City,  Long  Island,  New 
York.  You  see,  or  rather  don't,  that  the  69th  is  now  the 
165th.  But  I'll  let  you  know  when,  or  if,  the  transfer  occurs. 

That  certainly  is  a  fine  pipe  you  bought  me.  I'm  enjoying 
it  daily.  I  hope  you  got  your  bag.  Let  me  know  if  you 
didn't  and  I'll  send  you  another  poem. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

120 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — Sorry  to  be  so  long  in  writing  to  you,  but 
1  am  spending  most  of  my  time  since  Monday  at  the  Armory, 
and  have  had  no  time  to  do  any  writing.  I  drill  about  five 
hours  a  day,  and  have  guard  duty  and  other  things  like  that 
to  attend  to.  I  guess  I  must  have  lost  about  10  pounds  this 
week.  It's  terribly  hot,  and  we  still  wear  our  winter  uni 
forms — woolen  breeches  and  woolen  shirts.  We  expect  to 
go  to  training  camp  at  Spartanburg,  South  Carolina,  about 
August  5.  We  are  not  yet  all  mustered  into  Federal  service, 
and  expect  to  have  the  Federal  physical  examination  to 
morrow.  Then  we'll  be  mustered  in.  The  Federal  physical 
examination  is  stricter  than  the  State  examination,  which  I 
passed  when  I  enlisted,  April  23,  but  I  expect  to  pass  this 
all  right,  as  I  must  be  in  better  shape  than  when  I  enlisted. 
All  this  week  we've  been  at  the  Armory  from  9  A.  M.  to  4:30 
P.  M.,  and  sometimes  later.  I  was  one  of  the  detail  from  the 
7th  that  went  to  General  Austen's  funeral  and  fired  a  volley 
over  his  grave. 

I  told  you,  I  think,  about  the  Catholic  anthology  I'm 
trying  to  finish  up.  I  hope  to  be  able  to  work  at  it  Sundays 
when  I'm  in  camp. 

As  to  hussifs,  they  are  what  you  Americans  call  house- 
wifes',  or  rather  housewives',  field  sewing  kits;  in  other  words, 
you  get  them  at  department  stores  and  Rogers  Peet  doesn't 
carry  them. 

You'll  get  a  birthday  present  and  a  poem  if  you  are  good. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


121 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — Enclosed  find  copies  of  the  two  sonnets  that 
won  the  prizes  I  mentioned  in  a  recent  letter.  "The  Annun 
ciation"  won  first  prize,  and  "The  Visitation"  second,  as  I  told 
you.  I've  asked  the  magazine  to  give  second  prize  to  some 
one  else. 

My  new  book  "Main  Street  and  Other  Poems"  will  be 
published  September  1st.  I  have  just  signed  the  contract. 

What  time  in  June  will  you  be  back?  I'll  be  in  New  York 
until  the  last  day  of  the  month,  but  my  Monday  and  Friday 
evenings  are  taken  up  by  drill,  so  be  back  on  some  other 
evening  and  we'll  go  to  Healy's  "Golden  Glades,"  which  is  the 
most  magnificent  cabaret  ever  made. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  no  copy  of  your  birthday  poem,  but 
will  try  to  rewrite  it  from  memory,  and  if  I  can't,  I'll  write 
another  one  for  you,  and  perhaps  you'll  like  it  better.  I'll 
give  it  to  you — the  old  or  the  new  one — when  I  see  you  this 
week.  Constance's  wedding  is  next  Thursday  at  8:30  at 
the  National  Arts  Club.  I  am  to  lead  the  bride  up  the  aisle 
and  hand  her  to  Mr.  Alden,  who  will  give  her  away.  It  will 
be  a  military  wedding,  as  the  groom  has  just  been  commis 
sioned  Captain.  Constance  is  not  sending  out  any  invita 
tions,  only  announcements.  She  is  very  glad  you  are  coming ! 
We  will  have  a  lot  of  fun.  I  suppose  you'll  come  on  Wednes 
day  and  stay  until  Sunday,  won't  you? 

I'm  sorry  I  had  to  get  back  to  the  Armory  so  soon  the  last 
day  you  were  in  New  York.  We  certainly  are  working  hard 
these  days.  But  it's  a  very  interesting  life. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

122 


PRIVATE  JOYCE  KILMER,  JUST  AFTER  His  TRANSFER  TO 

THE  165TH   (69TH)  REGIMENT 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1917 

DEAR  BRAT — When  I  go  to  training  camp  still  is  uncer 
tain.  The  Seventh  Regiment  takes  part  in  a  farewell  parade 
of  New  York  on  Thursday  of  this  week,  but  it  may  not  leave 
for  a  week  after  that.  Then  again  it  may  leave  next  day — 
but  probably  not.  As  you  know,  I  am  being  transferred  to 
the  69th  (now  called  the  165th).  The  transfer  has  not  yet 
gone  through,  but  it  may  this  week.  It  is  certain  to  go 
through  in  the  course  of  time.  Then  I'll  go  to  training  camp 
at  Mineola,  N.  Y.,  instead  of  at  Spartanburg,  South  Carolina. 
I'll  let  you  know  when  I  myself  know. 

Your  letter  was  highly  entertaining,  especially  the  re 
ported  conversation.  Amusing  critter.  Send  you  another 
birthday  poem  soon.  Regimental  drill  this  afternoon,  so 
I  find  it  hard  to  write.  Be  a  good  infant  and  by  all  means 
have  cinnamon  toast  for  your  tea. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


123 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Headquarters  Company,  165th  U.  S.  Infantry, 
American  Expeditionary  Forces,  November  12,  1917 

DEAR  BRAT — My  fountain  pen  doesn't  work  well,  so  per 
haps  you  won't  mind  being  typewritten  to  this  time.  We 
are  arriving  today,  all  in  excellent  health  and  spirits.  I  hope 
to  be  able  to  cable  to  Timpson  to  cable  to  you  of  my  arrival, 
but  do  not  know  whether  or  not  I  shall  be  able  to  do  so. 

I'll  be  glad  to  receive  some  envelopes  addressed  to  you, 
as  I  may  have  some  difficulty  in  obtaining  plain  envelopes. 
The  Y.  M.  C.  A.  supplies  the  soldiers  with  free  stationery,  but 
it  is  all  covered  with  American  flags  and  things.  The  last 
lot  of  groceries  you  mentioned  did  not  reach  me  before  my 
departure,  but  it  has  probably  been  forwarded  from  the  camp 
and  will  undoubtedly  come  in  handy  over  here.  It's  pretty 
cold  and  damp  this  morning,  but  I  believe  it  will  be  pleasanter 
and  healthier  than  Camp  Mills. 

Your  friend,  Father  Duffy,  would  send  his  love  if  he  knew 
I  were  writing  to  you.  He  has  been  doing  the  work  of  about 
twenty  chaplains,  but  seems  to  thrive  on  it.  Yesterday 
afternoon  he  held  a  service  for  Protestants,  and  I  typewrote 
some  hymns  for  distribution — "Jesus,  Lover  of  My  Soul," 
"Nearer,  my  God  to  Thee,"  "Onward,  Christian  Soldiers" 
and  the  like.  The  service  was  well  attended  and  the  daily 
masses  have  been  crowded. 

Aline  must  have  had  a  hard  time  with  the  children  having 
whooping-cough.  I  hope  that  they  are  well  over  it  by  now, 
but  I  am  afraid  that  they  are  not,  for  I  remember  the  ailment 
as  lasting  for  a  month  or  so. 

When  you  see  Mrs.  Corbin  tell  her  that  I  greatly  enjoyed 
the  chocolate  cake  she  sent  me.  It  arrived  in  excellent  condi 
tion.  I'll  write  to  thank  her  very  soon — possibly  today.  If 
she  wants  to  know  what  to  send  me  over  here,  you  might  sug 
gest  copies  of  The  Century,  Scribners,  and  other  magazines, 

124 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


and  if  she  wants  to  send  books  you  might  tell  her  that  I  have 
at  present  a  great  desire  for  paper-bound  copies  of  the  works 
of  Wilkie  Collins.  Also,  anyone  sending  Christmas  boxes 
to  soldiers  should  do  so  at  once. 

You'll  get  your  Christmas  present  this  year,  but  it  may  be 
a  little  late.     Be  a  good  infant ! 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


125 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  January  13,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — I  have  not  had  a  letter  from  you  since  Christ 
mas  Eve,  but  I  believe  there  is  a  bunch  of  mail  awaiting  me 
at  a  nearby  station,  and  I  expect  it  tonight  or  tomorrow. 
Yesterday  I  got  a  very  fine  package  from  you  containing  six 
glasses  of  admirable  jelly  and  a  box  of  chocolate  covered  nuts. 
Much  obliged!  Sweet  stuff  like  that  is  what  I  desire  above 
everything  else  now.  That  and  cigars.  Also  I  received  from 
John  Timpson  &  Co.  $100.00  in  American  Express  Cheques, 
and  $9.50  from  the  7th  Regiment,  back  pay,  and  a  fountain 
pen  from  my  Council  of  the  Knights  of  Columbus.  A  pretty 
good  haul  I 

This  town  is  rather  like  some  of  the  English  villages  you 
love  so  much.  I  think  you  would  enjoy  a  trip  through  France 
some  time,  but  probably  not  this  winter.  However,  I  am 
comfortable  enough,  and  can  do  without  an  afternoon  nap 
and  cream  on  my  shredded  wheat. 

I  enjoy  your  letters  tremendously,  and  am  looking  for 
ward  to  getting  a  batch  of  them  tomorrow.  I  wish  I  could 
write  half  as  interestingly. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


126 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  January  31,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — In  the  course  of  a  day  or  so  you  should  re 
ceive  one  of  the  Aime  Dupont  pictures  I  had  taken  last  August 
or  September.  They  are  not  particularly  good,  but  they  are 
the  only  pictures  in  uniform  I  have  had  taken.  Aime  Dupont 
sent  them  to  me  at  Camp  Mills,  and  they  were  forwarded  to 
me  out  here. 

I  received  a  second  box  from  Finley-Acker,  containing 
excellent  jelly  and  much  candy.  From  my  father  I  have  re 
ceived  several  boxes  of  cigars,  as  well  as  $200.00.  I  hope  he 
received  my  letter  of  thanks. 

Your  letters  come,  not  regularly,  of  course;  that  is  not  to 
be  expected  these  days,  but  in  bunches  three  or  four  days  apart. 
Judging  by  the  numbers  I  am  getting  them  all.  It  is  a  great 
pleasure  to  hear  from  you  so  frequently,  and  you  certainly 
can  write  letters  worth  reading.  I  wish  I  could  write  half  as 
interestingly. 

I  think  you  will  enjoy  a  trip  through  rural  France  after 
the  war  is  over.  You  will  find  it  very  much  like  the  parts 
of  England  you  like  best — in  architecture,  landscape,  people. 

I  was  very  much  interested  in  hearing  that  Maurice  Kane 
is  coming  over  as  a  Y.M.C.A.  worker.  As  you  know,  I  am 
not  exactly  a  Y.M.C.A.  enthusiast,  but  what  they  are  doing 
for  the  troops  over  here  in  the  way  of  selling  American  tobacco 
and  cakes,  and  furnishing  writing  and  reading  rooms  is  very 
good,  and  most,  if  not  all,  the  men  in  the  work  are  over  the 
age  when  they  could  be  good  soldiers,  or  have  some  physical 
disqualification;  so  I  don't  think  any  the  less  of  Maurice  for 
going  into  the  work,  but  it  is  amusing  considering  his  High 
Church  ideas. 

By  the  way,  and  "why,"  you  ask,  "do  you  say  by  the 
way,"  read  "Monksbride,"  by  John  Ayscough.  I  think  it  is 

127 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


published  by  Dodd,  Meade  Co.  Or,  if  you  don't  want  to  buy 
it,  Aline  will  loan  it  to  you. 

I  suppose  you  have  read  the  new  Sherlock  Holmes  book? 
Admirable!  I  enjoyed  it  as  much  as  I  enjoy  his  earlier  stuff. 

It  is  getting  to  be  much  pleasanter  out  here  with  the  coming 
of  spring.  I  imagine  it  must  be  delightful  in  the  summer. 

I  think  that  my  father's  plan  for  sending  you  to  San 
Francisco  for  the  spring  and  summer  is  excellent.  By  all 
means  do  it. 

I  have  not  yet  received  the  additional  envelopes  you  spoke 
of.  The  name  of  my  anthology,  concerning  which  you  in 
quire,  is  "Dreams  and  Images" — Anthology  of  Catholic 
Verse,  and  the  publishers  are  Boni  &  Liveright. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


128 


MOTHER  OF  SERGEANT  JOYCE  KILMER,  1917.    TAKEN   AT 
JOYCE'S  REQUEST 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


1918 

DEAR  BRAT — Got  a  very  delightful  letter  from  you  today 
from  Lakewood.  I  am  glad  you  enjoyed  your  stay  there. 
The  sweater  arrived,  and  it  certainly  is  a  magnificent 
specimen  of  knitting,  and  the  wristlets  are  wonderfully  purled, 
whatever  purling  may  be.  Probably  I  shall  need  both  sweater 
and  wristlets  for  many  weeks,  for  although  it  is  spring  now,  it 
often  is  cold.  Much  obliged  I 

Under  separate  cover  I  am  sending  you  my  warrant  as 
Sergeant.  I  thought  you  might  like  to  have  it  to  frame  and 
hang  in  the  Old-fashioned  Room.  The  "draft"  in  the  corner 
means  that  the  Regiment  was  drafted  into  Federal  Service; 
that  is,  made  a  part  of  the  United  States  Army  instead  of  a  part 
of  the  New  York  State  National  Guard. 

I  suppose  you  have  read  in  the  newspapers  of  the  Regi 
ment's  recent  activities.  Now  we  are  taking  it  easy  in  a  very 
pleasant  little  town.  I  hope  we  may  stay  here  at  least  a 
month,  as  it  is  hard  to  work  when  the  Regiment  is  moving 
about  the  country.  I  had  a  week's  respite  from  office  work 
some  time  ago,  and  spent  it  doing  what  is  called  observation 
work  for  the  Regimental  Intelligence  Section.  It  was  most 
interesting. 

Did  Aline  tell  you  of  Kenton's  success  in  school?  It  seems 
that  he  won  a  gold  medal  for  being  the  best  pupil  in  the  school. 
I  was  delighted  to  learn  it.  So  nearly  as  I  can  remember, 
I  was  not  an  especially  keen  student  when  I  was  his  age, 
although  I  became  one  later. 

There  is  practically  no  chance  of  my  rising  any  higher  in 
the  Regiment  than  Sergeant,  and  I  am  perfectly  content. 
To  become  an  officer,  I  would  have  to  go  to  school  away  from 
the  Regiment  for  several  months,  then  if  I  failed  to  pass  my 
examination  and  win  a  commission,  I  would  be  sent  to  some 
other  regiment  than  this,  and  if  I  succeeded  I  would  be  sent 
as  an  officer,  not  back  to  the  69th,  but  to  some  other  outfit. 
I  want  very  much  to  stay  with  the  Regiment;  I  have  many 

129 


MEMORIES      OF      MY       SON 


good  friends  here,  and  I  would  feel  lost  in  any  other  military 
organization. 

I  am  looking  forward  to  receiving  the  photographs  you 
have  had  taken.  They  must  be  fine.  By  this  time  you 
probably  have  received  the  one  I  sent  you.  I  hope  you  like  it. 

I  hope  that  the  meatless,  wheatless  day  hysteria  has 
passed.  It  was  a  foolish  idea,  of  no  possible  value  to  the 
country,  and  potentially  harmful. 

Your  letters  are  very  gratefully  received,  and  I  am  looking 
forward  eagerly  to  receiving  the  cake  and  candy  you  mention. 
Everything  else  you  have  written  of  in  your  letters  has  ar 
rived  in  good  condition,  and  a  day  or  two  ago  I  got  five  big 
jars  of  excellent  tobacco  from  the  Dickens  Fellowship.  A 
most  intelligent  gift. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


130 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  April  18,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — The  sweater  arrived  a  few  days  ago,  and 
I  certainly  was  glad  to  get  it.  It  is  a  fine  garment,  beautiful 
to  look  at  and  most  comfortably  warm,  and  the  touch  of  red 
is  delightfully  characteristic.  Much  obliged! 

I  have  not  heard  from  you,  nor  from  any  one  in  the  States 
for  about  two  weeks,  but  tomorrow  or  next  day  six  truck 
loads  of  mail  will  be  left  at  Regimental  Headquarters,  and 
there  surely  will  be  several  letters  from  you.  We  get  our  mail 
in  big  lots.  For  about  two  weeks  we  have  been  receiving 
packages  and  no  letters.  I  received  the  candy,  of  which 
I  spoke  at  length  in  a  recent  letter,  and  which  I  remember  with 
enthusiasm,  and  a  number  of  newspapers  from  my  father, 
and  some  Saturday  Evening  Posts  from  you.  I  greatly  en 
joyed  the  story  you  praised,  "Call  for  Mr.  Keefe."  I  interviewed 
its  author,  Ring  Lardner,  when  I  was  last  in  Chicago.  I  do 
not  think  that  the  interview  appears  in  my  book. 

And  speaking  of  my  book,  let  me  renew  my  inquiries 
about  my  anthology,  "Dreams  and  Images."  Why  does  not 
some  one  send  me  a  copy?  I  have  asked  Aline,  but  in  vain. 
I  should  think  the  publishers  would  be  sending  me  a  copy, 
but  I  have  received  none  from  them.  I  don't  ask  you  to  send 
me  one ;  when  you  are  minded  to  send  anything,  let  it  be  candy 
— box  after  box,  but  much  cheap  candy  rather  than  a  little 
costly,  but  I  shall  be  grateful  if  you  will  remind  Aline  to  send 
me  a  copy.  She  must  have  received  many  of  them  from  the 
publishers. 

I  am  enjoying  this  town  greatly,  and  wish  I  could  tell  you 
its  name.  There  is  a  little  river  near  here,  and  this  afternoon 
I  had  a  swim.  The  water  was  pretty  cold,  but  it  was  good  to 
get  a  real  wash  and  to  splash  around  a  little.  It  is  getting 
nice  and  warm  now—  a  great  relief  for  all  of  us. 

131 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


I  am  glad  you  enjoyed  your  stay  in  Lakewood.  I  enjoyed 
the  fruits  of  it  in  the  form  of  those  two  magnificent  boxes  of 
candy. 

I  hope  you  make  a  trip  to  California.  It  will  do  you  a  lot 
of  good  and  be  a  fine  experience  to  remember. 

I  am  enclosing  a  letter  from  John  Timpson  &  Co.,  which 
you  will  please  give  to  my  father.  It  relates  to  an  insurance 
application  which  he  wanted  to  make  for  me.  He  asked  me 
to  cable  to  him  about  it.  I  didn't  have  any  money,  so  I  wrote 
to  John  Timpson  Co.,  and  had  them  cable.  The  allusion  in 
the  letter  to  the  prospect  of  seeing  me,  is  the  result  of  a  state 
ment  in  my  letter  to  the  effect  that  I  might  go  to  England  on 
my  leave.  I  expect  to  have  seven  days'  leave  soon,  but  I  am 
afraid  I  will  not  be  allowed  to  leave  France. 

I  am  looking  forward  to  receiving  your  photograph  soon, 
and  some  letters. 

Be  a  good  child,  and  go  to  see  "The  Copperhead"  and  tell 
me  how  you  like  it. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


132 


JOYCE  KILMER'S  MOTHER  LOOKING  AT  His  PICTURE. 
TAKEN  WHILE  HE  WAS  IN  FRANCE,  AND  MENTIONED 
IN  His  LETTERS 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  April  27,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — Do  not  be  alarmed  at  the  multiplicity  of 
requests  enclosed  The  reason  is  that,  as  you  are  aware, 
packages  can  no  longer  be  mailed  or  expressed  to  soldiers 
serving  in  France  except  at  their  request,  approved  by  their 
Regimental,  or  higher,  commander.  So  I  have  had  the  en 
closed  list  typed  and  approved.  The  system  is  this:  You 
desire  to  send  me  some  cigars,  let  us  say.  If  you  merely 
address  a  box  of  cigars  to  me  it  will  not  be  taken  by  the  postal 
authorities,  but  if  you  show  the  receiving  clerk  in  the  post  office 
or  some  other  authorised  person,  the  enclosed  duly  approved 
request,  you  will  find  that  he  will  accept  the  package  for 
transmittal.  That  is  the  use  for  which  the  slips  are  intended. 
They  are  not  meant  to  be  requests  requiring  immediate 
attention. 

I  have  asked  to  be  relieved  from  my  statistical  work,  and 
expect  to  be  out  of  the  office  by  Monday;  today  is  Saturday. 
I  am  going  into  the  Intelligence  Section,  which  is  much  more 
interesting  work  than  I  have  been  doing.  I  expect  to  keep 
my  rank  of  Sergeant,  but  I  would  be  willing  to  do  it  even  if 
I  had  to  become  a  Private.  My  work  in  the  Intelligence 
Section  is  that  of  observer,  for  which  my  newspaper  work  has 
given  me  some  preparation. 

I  hear  that  a  load  of  mail  has  arrived,  so  I  probably  shall 
receive  a  letter  from  you  before  evening,  I  am  glad  to  say. 
Yesterday  I  got  a  copy  of  the  Saturday  Evening  Post  from  you, 
and  I  certainly  was  glad  to  see  it. 

In  one  of  your  recent  letters  your  account  of  your  verbal 

battle  with  one  of  the  musical amused  me  very  much, 

not  only  because  "we  stay-at-homes"  seemed  to  me  to  be 
excellent  satire,  but  also  because  I  have  a  vivid  recollection 
of  being  "done"  by  a  musical for  concert  tickets  some 

133 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


fifteen  years  ago.  However,  I  paid  him  eventually,  and  I 
shouldn't  hold  a  grudge  against  him.  If  I  held  a  grudge 
against  every  one  who  has  "done"  me  since  that  time,  I'd 
have  a  scruge-like  existence  indeed.  But  I  can't  help  en 
joying  having  him  so  neatly  and  completely  crushed. 

It's  nice  and  warm  now,  a  pleasant  relief  after  a  severe 
winter.  Some  days  ago  I  went  in  swimming  in  a  river  near 
here;  it  was  very  enjoyable,  and  yesterday  I  had  a  shower 
bath.  It's  fine  to  be  within  reach  of  such  a  luxury. 

I  wonder  where  you  will  spend  your  summer?  Probably 
not  in  Canada,  after  your  experience  there  last  summer.  I 
think  you  probably  would  do  well  to  try  the  Adirondacks  this 
time.  So  far  as  I  can  remember,  you  have  never  been  there, 
and  there  is  a  good  deal  about  it  you  would  like. 

By  the  way,  the  young  man  you  met  in  Henri's  was  not  an 
officer,  but  a  non-commissioned  officer  like  myself,  only  some 
grades  higher,  since  you  say  he  was  a  Sergeant-Major,  and 
the  number  of  his  regiment  indicates  that  he  is  a  drafted  man. 
Enough  of  him.  However,  some  of  the  drafted  men  are  very 
nice  fellows. 

I  am  going  to  have  some  postcard  photographs  taken  in 
a  nearby  town  as  soon  as  I  acquire  the  requisite  ten  francs, 
which  will  be  soon,  and  I  will  send  you  several  (not  francs,  but 
photographs) ,  also  you  will  get  your  belated  valentine  soon. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


134 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  May  18,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — Under  separate  cover  I  am  sending  you  a 
couple  of  postcard  photographs  which  will  amuse  you.  I 
like  them  better  than  the  picture  in  uniform  I  had  taken  in 
the  States. 

As  to  your  "War  Mother"  poem,  I  hesitate  to  tell  you  how 
much  I  like  it,  because  I'm  afraid  you  will  think  I  am  trying 
to  flatter  you.  It  certainly  is  the  best  poem  you  ever  wrote — 
beautiful,  original  and  well  sustained.  I  have  seen  no  recent 
war  verse  I  like  so  well.  There  is  no  question  but  what  you 
will  sell  it  to  some  good  magazine.  I  certainly  congratulate 
you,  and  congratulate  the  magazine  fortunate  enough  to 
print  your  poem. 

I  am  very  glad  to  hear  of  the  deserved  success  your  songs 
met  at  Lakewood,  and  in  general  of  your  triumphs  at  the  Dick 
ens  Fellowship  and  elsewhere.  I  wish  I  could  have  witnessed 
them,  but  I  will  be  seeing  more  of  the  same  sort  next  winter. 
That  is  what  we  like  to  hear  about  over  here — triumphs  and 
celebrations,  and  in  general,  the  pleasant  and  prosperous 
course  of  civilised  life.  Of  course,  we  soldiers  are  undergoing 
hardships  and  privations.  We  expect  to.  But  we  don't 
spend  our  time  advertising  them.  But  in  the  States  when  they 
find  they  must  do  without  quite  so  much  wheat,  or  meat,  or 
something  of  the  sort,  instead  of  just  going  without  and  keep 
ing  their  mouths  shut,  they  advertise  their  remarkable  ab 
stention  by  having  "wheatless  days"  and  "meatless  days"  and 
all  that  sort  of  hysterical  rubbish,  and  filling  the  papers  with 
the  news,  thereby  disgusting  us  soldiers  and  undoubtedly 
comforting  the  enemy.  I  think  I'll  start  a  strawberry  ice 
cream  sodaless  day  for  the  Army;  it  would  be  just  as  sensible 
as  what  the  people  at  home  have  been  doing.  If  you  (I  don't 
mean  you  personally,  of  course)  have  to  eat  hardtack  instead 

135 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


of  butter-raised  biscuit,  why,  eat  the  hardtack  and  shut  up 
about  it,  but  don't  be  such  an  ass  as  to  have  a  butter-raised 
biscuitless  Monday.  And  don't  shut  down  on  theatrical 
amusements,  and  don't  deprive  people  of  their  honest  drink. 
Merely  making  stay-at-homes  dismal  does  not  help  the  sol 
diers  a  bit.  England's  early  "Business  as  Usual"  scheme  was 
more  practical,  and  this  is  something  of  a  concession  for  me 
to  make. 

There  is  quite  a  sermon  on  economics  for  you.  Kindly 
read  it  to  my  father,  whom  it  will  edify  and  instruct.  A 
recent  letter  from  him  shows  that  he  utterly  misunderstands 
my  point  of  view  on  this  subject,  the  result  of  lamentable 
careless  reading  by  him  of  one  of  my  letters,  in  which  I  con 
trasted  the  sanity  and  common  sense  of  the  French  through 
years  of  tragic  poverty,  starvation  and  ruin  with  the  hysterical 
wail  which  a  little  self-denial  brought  from  the  States. 

I  am  now  having  a  delightful  rest  on  top  of  a  forest-covered 
mountain.  I  had  a  month  of  very  hard  and  exciting  work, 
the  nature  of  which  you  can  imagine,  and  now  I  have  a  fort 
night's  rest  in  ideal  surroundings,  and  working  only  six  hours 
out  of  every  twenty-four,  and  that  work  is  light  and  inter 
esting. 

Be  a  good  infant,  and  send  me  your  picture  soon.  No 
order  is  needed  now. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


136 


Duand  Madelon 

" 


POSTCARD  SENT  FROM  FRANCE. 
INSCRIPTION  ON  REVERSE 
SIDE:  "You  MUST  GET  THIS 
SONG.  IT  Is  TREMENDOUSLY 
POPULAR  AMONG  THE  FRENCH 
AND  AMERICAN  SOLDIERS.  I 
HOPE  TO  HEAR  You  SING  IT 
BEFORE  LONG" 


POSTCARD  PHOTOGRAPH  OF  SERGEANT 
JOYCE  KILMER,  SENT  FROM  FRANCE 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  May  27,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — Your  picture  has  come  and  I  certainly  am 
glad  to  have  it.  I  think  it  is  by  far  the  best  picture  you  have 
had  taken.  You  look  about  eighteen!  That  is  a  delightful 
costume.  But  you  must  send  another  copy  of  the  picture 
to  Larchmont  for  framing,  since  in  order  to  carry  this  with  me 
it  will  be  necessary  to  remove  it  from  the  mount. 

I  suppose  by  this  time  you  have  received  the  humourous 
photographs  of  myself  I  sent  you. 

I  am  delighted  to  know  of  the  Kilburn  Hall  project.  By 
all  means  buy  the  Hall;  it  will  be  an  excellent  investment. 
Property  is  now  very  cheap  in  England  and  prices  will  rise 
as  soon  as  the  war  is  over.  I  hope  to  be  able  to  spend  my 
summers  in  France  after  the  war,  and  I  have  the  place  in 
mind — only  about  a  day's  run  from  London.  I  am  absolutely 
in  love  with  France,  its  people,  its  villages,  its  mountains, 
everything  about  it.  America  would  do  well  to  copy  its  at 
titude  in  the  war.  It  has  suffered  tremendous  hardships 
with  dignity  and  humour,  and  kept  its  sanity  and  faith. 
America,  to  judge  by  the  papers,  grows  hysterical  over  a  little 
self-denial.  Can't  do  without  an  extra  lump  of  sugar  in  its 
tea  without  a  band  and  speeches,  and  a  sugarless  Sunday.- 
It's  funny  and  rather  pathetic  to  us  soldiers,  but  I  honestly 
think,  although  it  may  seem  conceited  to  say  so,  that  when 
we  soldiers  get  back  from  the  war  we'll  do  the  spiritual  and 
intellectual  life  of  the  States  a  lot  of  good.  France  has  taught 
us  lessons  of  infinite  value. 

I  am  having  an  absolutely  heavenly  time  since  I  joined 
the  Intelligence  Section.  I  wouldn't  change  places  with 
any  soldier  of  any  rank  in  any  outfit.  This  suits  me  better 
than  any  job  I  ever  had  in  civil  life.  It  certainly  was  fortu 
nate  I  left  the  7th. 

137 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


As  you  know,  the  order  about  having  written  and  approved 
requests  for  packages  has  been  repealed,  so  let  nothing  deter 
you.  The  cake  is  not  yet  here.  I  will  soak  it  in  wine  all 
right;  don't  worry  about  that.  Speaking  of  wine,  enclosed 
find  some  flowers  given  me  by  a  very  nice  wineshop  girl  in 
a  city  near  here. 

"Madelon"  is  a  perfectly  respectable  song,  but  Madelon 
is  not  a  gun  or  anything  else  of  the  sort;  it's  the  name  of  a  girl 
who  serves  wine  to  the  soldiers,  as  the  song  clearly  states. 

Read  Eden  Philpott's  "Old  Delaboll,"  a  delightful  tale 
of  Cornish  life. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


138 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  June  14,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — I  am  enclosing  two  poems  which  I  think 
you  will  like.  "Rouge  Bouquet"  is  to  appear  in  Scribner's 
for  July  or  August.  A  friend  of  mine,  Emmet  Watson,  of 
ours,  made  a  magnificent  drawing  for  it,  which  I  hope  will 
accompany  it  in  the  magazine.  The  "Peace-Maker"  I  have 
just  this  hour  completed,  and  I  have  not  yet  decided  where  to 
send  it ;  probably  to  the  London  New  Witness. 

Tomorrow  I  expect  to  send  you  two  other  poems:  one  your 
long  delayed  valentine,  the  other  a  long  more  or  less  topical 
thing  about  a  hike,  which  I  think  you  will  enjoy  setting  to 
music.  It  introduces  at  intervals  songs  that  we  sing  during 
long  marches. 

There  is  a  chance  that  I  will  be  able  to  go  to  England  on 
several  days'  leave  in  a  few  weeks.  In  that  case  I  shall  prob 
ably  spend  most  of  my  time  in  London,  with  a  possible  visit 
to  Oxfordshire,  where  my  friend  Mrs.  Denis  Eden  lives. 

I  wish  there  was  something  I  could  do  for  you  to  expedite 
the  purchase  of  Kilburn  Hall,  but  since  the  Archbishop  of 
York  is  in  the  States,  you  should  yourself  be  able  to  make  a 
deal  with  him.  English  real  estate  is  a  wise  investment  these 
days.  It  will  go  up  fifty  per  cent,  in  a  year's  time.  I  wish 
I  could  afford  to  buy  some  property  in  this  country.  I  cer 
tainly  would  like  to  live  here.  If  the  States  go  dry  I  honestly 
think  I'll  move  my  family  over  here;  I  can  write  for  American 
papers  without  living  in  America.  Then,  if  you  move  to 
Kilburn  Hall  I  will  be  only  a  day's  trip  away  from  you,  and 
you  will  love  rural  France  almost  as  much  as  you  love  rural 
England. 

I  believe  no  packages  can  be  sent  from  the  States  to  sol 
diers  in  France.  They  can,  however,  be  sent  from  England. 

Be  a  good  infant  and  learn  to  sing  "Madelon." 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 

139 


MEMORIES      OF      MY      SON 


(The  last  letter  received  from  Joyce) 

Headquarters  Co.,  165th  Inf., 
A.  E.  F.,  France,  June  28,  1918 

DEAR  BRAT — I  received  three  letters  from  you  yesterday 
and  today,  the  first  I  have  had  for  a  long  time.  Your  letters 
always  come  in  bunches  like  that,  and  this  morning  I  received 
two  admirable  boxes  of  Mirror  candy,  in  perfect  condition. 
I  certainly  was  delighted  to  get  it,  as  it  is  a  long  time  since 
I  have  had  any  candy.  My  gratitude  is  so  great  that  I  even 
will  refer  to  it  as  "Sweets."  I  was  also  glad  to  get  your  pic 
ture  taken  on  shipboard.  You  must  send  to  Larchmont 
another  copy  of  the  picture  of  yourself  looking  at  my  photo 
graph,  you  sent  me  some  weeks  ago,  as  I  had  to  remove  it 
from  its  mount  and  cut  it  down  to  make  it  fit  into  my  wallet. 

All  the  rest  of  the  fellows  in  the  Intelligence  Section  (there 
are  nine  of  us,  nearly  all  college  graduates  and  men  of  some 
standing — editors,  brokers,  etc.)  have  pictures  of  their  mothers, 
but  none  of  them  so  good  looking  as  mine.  You  would  be 
amused  at  some  of  the  scenes  when  your  picture  is  exhibited. 
Tired  from  a  long  hike  from  a  stay  in  the  trenches,  I  am  having 
an  omelet  and  some  fried  potatoes  and  some  vin  rouge  beaucop 
in  a  French  peasant's  little  kitchen.  It  is  a  cottage  such  as 
you  and  I  often  visited  in  Derbyshire  and  Cambridgeshire — 
a  low  grey  stone  building  with  rose  trees  against  the  wall; 
a  tiny  garden  and  a  geometrically  neat  path.  The  kitchen 
floor  is  of  stone;  the  table  is  without  a  cloth,  but  shining  from 
much  polishing.  The  only  thing  to  distinguish  it  from  the 
typical  English  rural  cottage  is  the  crucifix  on  the  wall  and 
the  wooden  shoes  at  the  door.  (People  wear  sabots  out-of- 
doors,  cloth  slippers  in  the  house,  leather  shoes  on  Sunday.) 
After  such  a  repast  as  I  have  described  I  take  out  my  wallet  to 
pay  my  bill,  and  the  sharp  eyes  of  little  Marie  or  Pierre  in- 

140 


JOYCE  KILMER'S  MOTHER.  TAKEN  FEBRUARY,  1918,  AND 
SENT  TO  HIM  IN  FRANCE.  MENTIONED  IN  His  LAST 
LETTER 


SERGEANT      JOYCE      KILMER 


tently  watching  this  strange  soldat  Americain,  spy  the  picture. 
At  once  an  inquisitive  but  delighted  infant  is  on  my  knee 
demanding  a  closer  inspection  of  the  picture.  Then  mama 
must  see  it,  and  grandpere,  and  veuve  vatre  from  across  the 
street  (the  man  of  the  house  can't  see  it ;  he  is  away  from  home 
on  the  errand  that  brought  me  across  the  sea).  Well,  they 
all  say  "elle  est  jolie  ma  foi  et  jeune  aussi."  These  comments 
have  been  made  on  your  picture  rhany  times,  in  many  towns, 
which  I  will  one  day  show  you  on  a  map  of  France. 

I  have  not  much  anxiety  for  my  father,  for  I  look  on  his 
condition  as  a  state  of  rest  really  necessary  to  a  mind  so  con 
stantly  busy,  but  I  am  glad  that  from  you  I  have  inherited 
the  power  of  readily  escaping  from  worry  and  work  and  enter 
ing  with  enthusiasm  into  whatever  mirth  I  find  around  me — 
in  finding  good  and  true  and  merry  friends  everywhere.  I 
think  that  some  of  this  quality  would  have  helped  my  father 
very  much  and  increased  his  bodily  and  mental  health.  I 
worried  grievously  about  you  for  a  while,  and  wished  that 
I  could  have  been  with  you  when  my  father  was  taken  ill, 
but  I  don't  worry  now;  you  are  too  spirited  and  courageous 
for  anybody  to  worry  about.  I  certainly  admire  you  more 
than  ever,  and  look  forward  eagerly  to  regular  banquets  at 
Henri's  and  Rector's  with  you. 

I  want  you  to  meet  all  the  Regimental  Intelligence  Section 
— a  fine  bunch  of  men  and  good  comrades.  We  have  taken 
big  chances  together,  and  it  has  made  us  the  best  of  friends. 
You  will  like  them  and  they  will  like  you. 

Yours  affectionately,  JOYCE. 


141 


RETURN  TO  the  circulation  desk  of  any 
University  of  California  Library 

or  to  the 

NORTHERN  REGIONAL  LIBRARY  FACILITY 
Bldg.  400,  Richmond  Field  Station 
University  of  California 
Richmond,  CA  94804-4698 

ALL  BOOKS  MAY  BE  RECALLED  AFTER  7  DAYS 

•  2-month  loans  may  be  renewed  by  calling 
(510)642-6753 

•  1-year  loans  may  be  recharged  by  bringing 
books  to  NRLF 

•  Renewals  and  recharges  may  be  made 
4  days  prior  to  due  date 

DUE  AS  STAMPED  BELOW 

DEC  0  1 2004 


DD20  6M  9-03 


21-100m-7,'33 


333 


YC 106949 


4 

FNIVERSITY  OF  CALIFORNIA  LIBRARY